Biden extends protection against deportations to almost half a million Venezuelans | International

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The Joe Biden Administration announced this Wednesday measures to expedite the bottleneck that the immigration system has created in many cities in the United States. The Government has revealed the second extension of the protection status granted to Venezuelans, popularly known as TPS (Temporary Protected Status). This will allow 470,000 citizens of the South American country who have crossed the border to obtain work permits and be shielded from being deported for 18 months. The program was announced a couple of years ago by Biden and expanded last summer by Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of Homeland Security. The measure will only benefit Venezuelans who have arrived in the North American nation before July 31, 2023.

A source from the Department of Homeland Security has indicated that Biden's decision occurs because there are “extraordinary conditions” that do not allow the safe return of Venezuelans to their country. For this reason, the US Executive has granted a new extension for TPS, which expired in March 2024 and will now do so 18 months later. As of October 1, the Government will expedite work permit procedures for immigrants who have an appointment with the immigration authorities.

That was one of the complaints of several mayors in the country, who have received numerous immigrants in their cities who have saturated the shelters. The councilors, especially the Democrats of New York, Denver and some cities in California, had asked to speed up the procedures so that immigrants could work and thus continue their path within the country.

Biden relieves the pressure of immigration within his territory with one hand. With the other, however, he has tightened border surveillance with the election year in sight. The Administration reported this afternoon that it will accelerate the expulsion of families who have arrived in the United States irregularly. Washington is responding in this way to the record numbers of illegal crossings that the Department of Homeland Security documented in August. The authorities then detained 91,000 immigrants who made the trip with a family member. It was the highest figure recorded in four years. The authorities have already deported some 1,600 people from the same family and promise to increase the pace in the coming weeks.

The Government will also reinforce the presence of authorities by sending 800 soldiers to the common border with Mexico. With this afternoon's announcement, the presence of security force elements amounts to 3,300. The Executive had already deployed 2,500 members of the National Guard to several hot spots along the line. The mobilization coincides with an increase in the flow of immigrants arriving, especially through Texas. American media have recently shown images of hundreds of people arriving in recent days waiting to be processed in communities in the Republican stronghold. Some channels indicate that up to 8,000 people cross daily.

The authorities have not confirmed the figure, but admit that there is a significant increase. They assure that the official numbers will be released soon. Homeland Security, however, has confirmed that the capacity of the detention centers has been expanded to 23,000 people. These large white tents spread along the border will be able to receive 3,250 more people starting today.

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The United States has deported 250,000 people since May 12, when Title 42 was lifted, a health measure that Biden inherited from Donald Trump during the pandemic. The rule allowed immigrants who arrived illegally to be quickly expelled. The Democratic government left the measure in force for two years and used it as a tool to streamline border management. With its extinction it prepared for an imminent invasion. This did not arrive in the following days, but the figures reveal that the migratory flow has grown at a constant rate since then. Fiscal year 2022 (October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023) threatens to become one of those with the most illegal crossings in recent years.

From Washington they affirm that the conditions that have led to an increase in migration have not changed in recent years. The economic effects left by the coronavirus health contingency in the northern hemisphere, climate change and the authoritarian regimes of some nations in the region are cited.

Immigration control is one of the priorities of Republican voters and one of the main issues of candidates for the presidential candidacy of the conservative party. It is the strong card of Donald Trump, who during his presidency separated migrant families at the border in the hope that this would reduce the number of crossings.

The Biden Government, however, calls on the opposition to block in Congress a special request for $4 billion for border control and other measures to combat illegal crossings. Without this money, the Administration admits that they will continue to face tough challenges on the border with Mexico.

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