California Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris said Saturday that, if she were president, she would “extend TPS status” to Venezuelans who have fled the Maduro government. Harris made the statement in a tweet, writing:
“What’s happening in Venezuela is a crisis. The people who have fled Maduro’s dictatorial regime deserve safety and protection. As President, I would immediately extend TPS status to Venezuelans. It’s the right thing to do. America must show moral leadership in this hemisphere.”
Harris also called on the US to “immediately condemn” the Maduro government, tweeting, “The U.S. must immediately condemn Maduro’s violence against his own people. There is no excuse for this. The Venezuelan military and security forces must demonstrate restraint. Venezuelans deserve a free and fair election and a peaceful transition of power.”
Harris Said She’d Offer ‘TPS Status’ to Venezuelans Who Have Fled to the US
TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, is a temporary immigration status that allows the citizens of certain countries to live and work in the United States for a certain, temporary period of time. The US State Department can designate a country for TPS status when that country is undergoing an emergency, like a civil war or a natural disaster. The State Department describes TPS as follows:
“The Secretary of Homeland Security may designate a foreign country for TPS due to conditions in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the United States. Eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country may also be granted TPS.
The Secretary may designate a country for TPS due to the following temporary conditions in the country:
Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war)
An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic
Other extraordinary and temporary conditions.”
The Trump Administration Has Said They Back Maduro’s Opponent, With President Trump Calling Maduro a ‘Cuban Puppet’
Th White House has repeatedly denounced the Maduro government and has expressed support for Juan Guaido, the opposition leader who has declared himself the interim president of Venezuela. President Trump spoke in Miami on Monday to urge Venezuelan military officials to throw their support behind Guaido as well. Trump addressed military leaders and said, “You must not follow Maduro’s orders.” He also said that the “dictator” Maduro was blocking humanitarian aid from reaching Venezuelans in need.
“Two days ago the first US Air Force C-17 landed in Colombia loaded with crucial assistance, including thousands of nutrition kits for little Venezuelan children,” Trump said. “Unfortunately dictator Maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country. He would rather see his people starve than give them aid.”
“Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot, he is a Cuban puppet,” Trump added.