BOGOTA, Colombia – Members of the Venezuelan opposition continued to send messages of gratitude on Tuesday to President Joe Biden for granting Temporary Protected Status to undocumented Venezuelans in the United States.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó released a statement in Spanish saying that the TPS reaffirms the U.S. is in favor of democracy in Venezuela and it sends a message to the international community.
“Maduro’s dictatorship has caused the largest regional security and humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere,” Guaidó said in Spanish.
The protection of Venezuelan migrants in the U.S. follows a similar measure implemented by Colombia last month to receive legal status. The measures allow the migrants to have access to public services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Carlos Vecchio, Guaidó's envoy in Washington, D.C., said the Biden administration has recognized Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela.
Guaidó met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 2 ahead of the announcement. Blinken tweeted on Monday that Biden’s administration is committed to helping Venezuelans in their time of need.
The U.S. is working with the European Union and the Organization of American States to increase pressure.
Agradecemos al Presidente @JoeBiden y a los senadores y congresistas que hicieron realidad esta medida en solidaridad y protección a los migrantes venezolanos.— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) March 8, 2021
Seguimos trabajando, para que todos retornen al país y por la solución de fondo, recuperar la libertad. https://t.co/udhKPOJuJf
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.
Torres contributed to this report from Miami.