Based on Trump’s note, the United States will postpone for 18 months the removal of some Venezuelan citizens present in the United States on January 20. This also allows these Venezuelans to work during this period of time.
The State Department did it last year is considering using DED to protect Venezuelans, but negotiations stalled because of resistance to including relief for exiles in Trump’s Venezuelan strategy. The outgoing president’s strategy focused on sanctions to put maximum pressure on Maduro’s regime.
The shift to using DED instead of TPS stems from some Republicans̵
The DED’s offer to Venezuelans is expected to protect about 200,000 Venezuelan citizens in the United States from deportation – the same number it would potentially have with TPS, according to TPS estimates from the Bureau of Congress.
Florida Republicans, such as Mario Diaz-Ballart, have long urged the Trump administration to offer Venezuela a temporary legal status given the difficult situation in the South American country. It has also long been sold as a way to build better will with the Venezuelan community in South Florida.
Although he did not provide a TPS to Venezuelans, Trump – with his campaign’s anti-socialist messages – won in Doral, home to the largest Venezuelan community in the United States, making significant gains since 2016.
People close to Trump’s last-minute decision said White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were involved in moving it forward. The decision – which comes less than 16 hours before the end of Trump’s presidency – is likely to come as welcome news in South Florida, where he, his daughter and son-in-law will soon reside.
Senator Marco Rubio, who is actively involved in Trump’s policy toward Latin America, hinted on Sunday that a message could soon emerge.
“I still hope that, as I proposed more than a year ago and again three months ago, the President will grant a Deferred Forced Leave (DED) to eligible Venezuelan nationals currently residing in the United States,” Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote on Twitter.
President-elect Joe Biden has previously pledged to give Venezuelans temporary protection status. In 2019, the Democratic-led chamber passed a bipartisan bill to provide TPS to Venezuelans. But the legislation was retained in the GOP-controlled Senate, despite Rubio’s support.