TPS for Venezuelans: Permanent or Protected Status?

by

Tuesday, May 11, 2021


Border housing has been a top story in the news recently, but Biden’s broader immigration failures shine through across the board. In a press release, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas cited “extraordinary and temporary circumstances” resulting from the ever-worsening Venezuelan humanitarian crisis as he announced the establishment of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans earlier this year. 

Fulfilling a touted campaign promise, the new program will affect approximately 300,000 Venezuelans illegally present in the United States. However, a more permanent solution is the end goal.

At the end of his term, President Donald Trump approved Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Venezuelans in America. DED is a power of the president that may be extended or revoked at any time. It is commonly used to promote U.S. foreign interests.

In contrast, TPS is a designation enforced by U.S. statutes for select reasons including extraordinary temporary circumstances. The problem? DED can easily be extended or terminated based on presidential prudence. TPS frequently requires litigation to be removed and can be extended for decades.

El Salvador is a prime example. The Central American nation suffered a brutal civil war in the 1980s followed by violent civil strife. The Immigration and Naturalization Service authorized TPS for Salvadorans in 2001. It still exists today, and is twice the duration of a green card for permanent residence.

Ultimately, the El Salvadoran TPS designation does not reflect the nation’s status. Despite ever-decreasing homicide rates, recently being declared malaria-free by the WHO, and labeled as “moderately free” according to the Heritage 2021 Index of Economic Freedom, El Salvador remains a TPS country. Could Biden be planning a greater permanence to Venezuelan TPS similar to that extended to Salvadorans? Absolutely. In fact, that’s been the plan all along. 

Legislation introduced last January clarified Biden’s plan for a “roadmap to citizenship” offered to those with TPS. On its face, TPS appears to be assisting refugees in humanitarian distress. In reality, the Biden administration has ulterior motives to make participants into citizens. 

The goal of the program is the harboring and then reinstating of aliens in their home nations. A pathway to citizenship controverts it. Additionally, the attempt would serve only to circumvent current legal immigration problems. Nationalities with internal conflict would be given the opportunity to achieve citizenship earlier than their peaceable counterparts. 

Designating Venezuelans as TPS, the Biden administration calls the “temporary” into question and reveals a thinly-veiled attempt to bandage an outdated immigration process. 

An exchange of temporary for permanence can only signal that Biden is incapable of weathering the squall of immigration woes. Rather than a lighthouse, TPS should serve as a distress call for all who expected impactful immigration reform.

Alex McKenna is a native of the Ohio Valley with a passion for the true, good, and beautiful. Studying Political Science and Humanities and Catholic Culture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, he focuses on political philosophy and engaging the failures of modern day American culture. Alex's interests include backpacking, riding, maple syrupping, and his favorite: family.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.


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About Alex McKenna

Alex McKenna is a native of the Ohio Valley with a passion for the true, good, and beautiful. Studying Political Science and Humanities and Catholic Culture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, he focuses on political philosophy and engaging the failures of modern day American culture. Alex's interests include backpacking, riding, maple syrupping, and his favorite: family.


alex.mckenna.mr on Instagram @alex.mckenna.mr

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