Soto Celebrates TPS for Venezuelans, Announces Potential Pathway to Citizenship for Venezuelans
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Darren Soto (FL-09), in a virtual press conference, announced that his office secured language in the Dream and Promise Act of 2021 to provide a pathway to citizenship for certain Venezuelans eligible for Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).
The announcement comes after U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas designated Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) on Monday, enabling Venezuelans currently residing in the United States to apply for TPS if they meet eligibility requirements.
“Six years ago, I began the crusade to secure TPS for Venezuelans in Florida and across the nation,” said Congressman Soto. “It started with letters of support when I was in the State Senate and led to me sponsoring the Venezuela TPS Act in Congress. In 2019, we passed the legislation out of the House with bipartisan support. Despite Senator Menendez’s best efforts, the bill was blocked by Senator Scott, who sought to dismantle the entire TPS program in exchange for TPS for Venezuelans. Our Venezuelan constituents rejected this terrible bargain.
“Now, President Joe Biden is finally delivering justice to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans in Florida and across the nation! To further our efforts for the Venezuelan community, our office has secured language in the Dream and Promise Act that would provide a pathway to citizenship for as many as 105,000 eligible Venezuelans. Going forward, we will continue to advocate for legislation that will make ‘Venezuela Libre’ once and for all!”
The Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which was introduced by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) on March 3rd, 2021, will grant individuals with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) status and cancel removal proceedings if they:
- Have been in the United States for a period of 3 years before the Act’s enactment; and
- Were eligible or had TPS on September 17, 2017 or DED status as of January 20, 2021.
Venezuelans who have been continuously physically present in the U.S. for three years will be eligible, provided that they do not fall into one of the following exceptions from the DED proclamation:
- have voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
- have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021;
- are inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)) or removable under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(4));
- who have been convicted of any felony or 2 or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who meet the criteria outlined in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A));
- who were deported, excluded, or removed before January 20, 2021;
- who are subject to extradition;
- whose presence in the United States the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety; or
- whose presence in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.
For the full bill text of the Dream and Promise Act of 2021, click here.