Venezuelan community organizations in the United States expressed this Friday their concern for the “lack of pronouncement” of Joe Biden’s government on what it intends to do with the thousands of Venezuelans without legal status that are inside the country or are at the border waiting to be able to enter.
At a press conference attended by representatives of member organizations of the UVO (United Venezuelan Organizations) platform, it was announced that letters had been sent to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to convey these concerns.
Today marks exactly one month since then President Donald Trump, who left the White House on January 20, issued an executive order or decree granting undocumented Venezuelans a reprieve from deportation for 18 months.
However, there is still no “instruction” for this DED (Deffered Enforced Departure) and “we do not know how it will work,” said Helene Villalonga, leader of UVO and of the Multicultural Association of Activists, Voice and Expression (AMEVEX).
It is also uncertain what will happen with President Biden’s election promise to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelans in his first 100 days in office.
“We are supremely concerned,” because the situation in Venezuela “is getting worse and worse,” Villalonga said.
Other UVO participants in the press conference also showed their concern, asked for “clarity” and some spoke of “discrimination”.
Villalonga indicated that they do not want to “politicize” a claim that goes back years and has given rise to initiatives of all kinds, including bills passed in Congress.
In the letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, UVO reviews the most recent initiatives and also makes a request.
“With all due respect, on behalf of Venezuelan refugees living the nightmare of exile, we humbly request that temporary protected status be granted to Venezuelan citizens living in the United States,” the letter states.
It also requests “to have the opportunity to discuss possible avenues to resolve this situation” and “find ways in which we can work together to move forward.”
The press conference thanked the Biden Administration for beginning to dismantle the MPP program, instituted by Donald Trump to send more than 60,000 asylum seekers to Mexico to wait there to be cited by immigration judges.
Among those people, mostly Central Americans, there are about 2,000 Venezuelan families, some of whom are in a critical situation as they lost their turn before the judges because they were victims of kidnappings and extortion and no longer have permission to move through Mexico, the organizations said.
The organizations included in UVO asked to take into account that Venezuelans, rather than seeking the American dream, come to the United States as part of an exile and seeking to protect their lives, threatened by a regime that violates human rights and that has its people submerged in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.