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Outgoing U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday suspended the deportation of Venezuelan immigrants for a period of 18 months and also granted them temporary work permits.
Trump adopted these measures on his last day in power, given that this Wednesday Democrat Joe Biden will assume the presidency.
In a statement from the White House, Trump said that “the deteriorating situation within Venezuela justifies the postponement of the expulsion of Venezuelan citizens who are present in the United States.”
Trump added that the move was in the “foreign policy interest of the United States.”
The measure has some exceptions and won’t apply to people who have been deported before or who have been convicted of a crime or two misdemeanors.
In addition to ordering the suspension of deportations, Trump approved “employment authorizations for aliens whose removal has been deferred (…) for the duration of such deferment.”
The decision is a nod to the Venezuelan community in the United States, mostly resident in Florida, a majority of whom supported him during these four years for his fight against the tyranny of Nicolas Maduro.
On Tuesday, Washington approved a final round of economic sanctions against members of the criminal network operated by the Maduro regime.