Miami-Dade Democrats celebrate Venezuelans’ TPS at El Arepazo

DORAL, Fla. – Maria Corina Vegas is a Venezuelan-American Democrat who lives in Miami-Dade County. She has lived in the U.S. for more than three decades.

Although it doesn’t affect her status, the attorney said there is plenty to celebrate on the first day that undocumented Venezuelans will be able to apply for Temporary Protected Status.

Vegas said this will allow undocumented Venezuelans who qualify for TPS to also get a driver’s license. The work permit will allow them to contribute more to the economy.

“They are going to be able to pay taxes,” Vegas said.

Vegas was part of a group that met for a rally on Tuesday evening. The supporters of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took over the restaurant at 10191 NW 58th St. Some held Venezuelan and U.S. flags.

The party at El Arepazo follows a public virtual meeting that included Sen. Bob Menendez and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Albio Sires, Stephanie Murphy, Ted Deutch, and Darren Soto.

“Conditions back home are even more dire than when families left,” Deutch said.

The protection comes about a month after former President Donald Trump’s administration granted Deferred Enforced Departure for some Venezuelans. Menendez said DED just wasn’t enough.

Wasserman Schultz expects the Biden administration to change Trump’s policy on Venezuela.

“Unilateral sanctions have generally not been effective,” Wasserman Schultz said.


The designation of Venezuela for TPS and the 180-day registration period begins on Tuesday. The registration period will remain in effect through Sept. 5 and the TPS through Sept. 9, 2022.

TPS applicants are also able to apply for Employment Authorization Documents and for a travel authorization, which allows them to travel in and out of the U.S. There are risks if the traveler has been in the U.S. illegally even with a travel document.

For more information and for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ document downloads and instructions, visit this page and this page.


About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

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.