Many Venezuelans no longer have to live in fear of deportation

U.S. to allow over 470,000 Venezuelans to work legally

MIAMI – Sigmund Garcia, who was born in Venezuela and moved to South Florida about a year ago, said in Spanish that he lives with the fear of deportation. He won’t have to do that anymore — for now.

Garcia is among the 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived in the country as of July 31 who qualify for The Homeland Security Department’s Temporary Protected Status.

This TPS extension is in addition to about 242,700 Venezuelans who are already under TPS.

“We can have at least a work permit so that people can work,” Garcia said in Spanish.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted the expansion due to “Venezuela’s increased instability and lack of safety,” the department said in a statement.

Rachel Leon, an immigration attorney, said many of her clients have been calling her for information and she has been able to give the good news.

“This means that these people will not get deported,” Leon said adding, “A lot of them are professionals that can obtain a better quality job with the work permit.”

Willy Allen, an immigration attorney, the TPS recognizes that Venezuela is a country in chaos and people are fleeing. The United Nations estimates the Venezuelan diaspora at 7.3 million.

Allen said it also alleviates an already backlogged immigration court system.

“The priority of the immigration court right now should be deporting criminal aliens,” Allen said.

The Biden administration is also dealing with a growing number of Venezuelan asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border and uses CBP One, a mobile app for appointments at the border crossings also for migrants from Cuba, Haiti, and Nicaragua who have a financial sponsor.

The Biden administration also allocated U.S. Department of Defense forces to support Homeland Security. The National Guard was already assisting Customs and Border Protection.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.