The Venezuelan Embassy in the United States opened on Wednesday an online registration for those Venezuelans who want to apply for the 18-month immigration relief granted to them by Donald Trump before leaving the Presidency, and also benefit from a possible Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Registration is done through the website www.us.embajadavenezuela.org, said Brian Fincheltub, director of Consular Affairs at the embassy, which answers to Juan Guaidó, whom the U.S. government considers the interim president of Venezuela.
Just before the arrival of Democrat Joe Biden to the White House on January 20th, Trump issued a Deferred Enforced Departure Decree (DED) that shields the thousands of undocumented Venezuelans in the United States from deportations and expulsions as long as they have no pending cases with the justice system.
In addition to Trump’s DED, a TPS may be added, as promised by the current President, Democrat Joe Biden, during the election campaign. Democratic senators like Bob Menendez and Republicans like Marco Rubio have just introduced a bill to that end.
“We have activated a census of potential DED and possible TPS beneficiaries, to proactively facilitate the work of U.S. authorities, with whom we are in coordination, and access to this immigration benefit for which proof of nationality is usually required,” Fincheltub said in a statement.
Fincheltub specified that these efforts are made “without losing the focus that the main objective is the end of the dictatorship and the freedom of Venezuela.”
According to sources from international organizations and the Venezuelan opposition, between 5.5 and 6 million Venezuelans have left their country because of the political, economic and social crisis. There is no exact figure of how many are in the United States, but it is estimated that there are more than 350,000.
The diplomat noted that the DED is applicable to thousands of Venezuelans who entered the United States before January 20th, 2021 and allows them to live and work legally initially for a period of 18 months, which can be extended.
The embassy’s efforts are also aimed at protecting the nearly 250 Venezuelans who remain detained for immigration reasons in U.S. detention centers, who would benefit from the measure if they meet the requirements, he added.
In Florida, where the largest number of Venezuelans in the United States is concentrated, exile and community organizations thanked Trump for the 18-month immigration relief granted to those arriving from Venezuela and asked the new Administration not to “forget” the other Venezuelans.
The Organization of Venezuelan Political Persecuted in Exile (Veppex) reiterated on Tuesday its appeal to Biden to ask him to fulfill his promise of TPS for Venezuelans.
In a message released today, Veppex president, José Colina, thanked the new president for his willingness “not to tolerate the human rights violations and corruption of Nicolás Maduro’s regime.”
He also considered that it would be a “serious mistake” for the United States to promote the holding of new elections in Venezuela as a way to remove him from power, given his criminal nature and the advantage conferred by the structure already in place.
“Only an act of force can put an end to the Maduro regime,” Colina stressed.