WASHINGTON – As one of his last acts in office, President Trump has authorized a program to grant work permits and deportation protections to Venezuelan immigrants in the US without legal permission, an action President-Elect Joe Biden Promised to take during the 2020 campaign.
The designation, formally known as the deferred enforced departure, provides for the national security of any Venezuelan who has been in the US for 18 months on 20 January 2021 in the US. According to the Migration Policy Institute, at least 94,000 Venezuelans are expected to benefit in the country without authorization by 2018, although analysts believe the current numbers are likely to be higher.
Mr Trump’s move can be seen as pressure against the US government, Nicolas Maduro, the authoritarian leader of Venezuela whom the Trump administration has targeted with sanctions, limited travel restrictions and other measures. In January 2019, the US officially recognized the country’s opposition leader Juan Guedo as the interim President of Venezuela.
During the 2020 campaign, Mr. Biden said he would offer temporary protected status to Venezuelan immigrants should he win the election, addressing a key question of the Venezuelan-American community in Florida. Deferred Enforcement is similar to the departure program in security providing TPS protection. The DED is issued directly by the President, while the TPS must be approved by the Homeland Security Secretary.
Republicans and Democrats in Florida are lobbying for the move – South Florida has one of the largest Venezuelan populations in America – and the White House has long been gearing up on what to do.