Miami-Dade offers free legal aid to Venezuelans reapplying for temporary protected status

The deadline for Temporary Protected Status is in four days and attorneys are offering free services to Venezuelans on Thursday and Friday in Miami-Dade County.

DORAL, Fla. – Miami-Dade County teamed up with several organizations to help some of the more than 100,000 Venezuelan migrants who have about four days to reapply for Temporary Protected Status.

President Joe Biden’s administration extended the TPS for Venezuelans in September, but the renewal isn’t automatic. The migrants who had TPS protection must reapply before Nov. 7.

An estimated 550,000 Venezuelans have moved to the United States since 2015, but only those who arrived before March of last year qualified for the 18-month protection.

Bellalyn Bernal moved to Miami-Dade on Feb. 21, 2014, and she was among the Venezuelans who benefited from Miami-Dade County’s free event on Thursday.

“I am very grateful for this country,” Bernal said in Spanish.

Juan Salcedo, the coordinator of the event, said the goal is to make sure that every Venezuelan who applied for the TPS when it became available for the first time in March reapplies.

“Private immigration attorneys sometimes charge up to $1,000 for these applications,” Salcedo said. “Today we are doing this for free.”

The event continues on Friday at Morgan Levy Park, at 5300 NW 102 Ave., in Doral. There were appointments left starting at 10 a.m. and Salcedo said walk-ins are welcome.

Salcedo recommended those who are in need of free legal assistance visit this page to make an appointment, call 1-800-600-5762, or email TPS@miamidade.gov. Attorneys, paralegals, or students who are interested in volunteering should visit this page.


About the Author:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.