US grants work permits to half a million Venezuelans already living in the country

Migrant families separated at Mexico's northern border as they struggle to secure US asylum appointments on a government app

The Hernandez family, Venezuelan migrants seeking asylum in the US who did not receive an appointment using the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) CBP One application, sit at the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo River to seek asylum Let’s go next to. U.S. Border Patrol agents, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, receive licensing rights Read more

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (Reuters) – The United States will grant temporary deportation relief and access to work permits to about half a million Venezuelans already in the country, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, a move aimed at helping newly arrived migrants find work. This step was taken after the call of the Democrats. Legally.

About 472,000 Venezuelans living in the US on or before July 31 will now be eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for a period of 18 months. About 243,000 Venezuelans already have the status arising from the 2021 designation that was renewed last year.

President Joe Biden, a Democrat seeking reelection in 2024, has faced record illegal border crossings, fueled by a sharp increase in recent years of migrants fleeing economic and political turmoil in Venezuela. Is.

Fellow Democrats, most prominently New York City Mayor Eric Adams, have called on Biden to expand access to work for newly arrived immigrants, who have strained local and state resources.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated that the extension of protected status for Venezuelans was necessary due to “Venezuela’s increasing instability and lack of security”.

Poor diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela have made it difficult for the US to deport Venezuelans to their home country. But a US agreement with Mexico has allowed thousands of non-Mexicans, including Venezuelans, to be deported to Mexico in recent months.

Venezuela’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border illegally declined in May after the Biden administration imposed stricter asylum rules, but the number of border crossings has increased again in recent months.

The White House said that to help free up Border Patrol agents, the Pentagon will send 800 additional active-duty troops to the border, in addition to the 2,500 National Guard troops already deployed.

Additionally, the Biden administration will expand nationwide a program launched in May to rapidly process and potentially deport migrant families seeking asylum.

DHS said it would extend the length of time work permits are valid for some immigrants, including asylum seekers, to five years so the government can focus on processing new applications.

Reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Additional reporting by Christina Cook in San Francisco and Vivian Sequeira in Caracas; Editing by Sandra Maler and Christopher Cushing

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Ted Hesson is an immigration reporter for Reuters based in Washington, DC. His work focuses on the policy and politics of immigration, asylum, and border security. Before joining Reuters in 2019, Ted worked for the news outlet Politico, where he also covered immigration. His articles have appeared in Politico Magazine, The Atlantic, and Vice News, among other publications. Ted holds a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

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