White House: No TPS Asylum Relief for Venezuelans

Venezuelans arrive at the Santo Domingo airport waiting to return to Venezuela, they are part of the first group of about 80 Venezuelans who had emigrated to the Dominican Republic to flee the economic crisis of their country they left on Saturday back to Venezuela in a flight financed by …
ERIKA SANTELICES/AFP/Getty

White House officials are not considering an offer of Temporary Protected Status asylum to the many Venezuelans who are fleeing from their socialist dictator, a White House official told Breitbart News.

“We would not want to open the floodgates for them,” the official said. “The Vice President,  the National Security Council, and the President all share the same position, which was articulated by Ambassador [John] Bolton over the weekend, which is our priority is that Juan Guaido be elevated into power and [Nicolas] Maduro leave,” the official said. 

Bolton is Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor.  On March 10, Bolton told ABC News that Maduro and his aides: 

have not sought to arrest Guaido and the National Assembly and the opposition. And I think one reason for that is that Maduro fears if he gave that order, it would not be obeyed. The fact is, and the media don’t know it because people don’t talk about this, there are countless conversations going on between members of the National Assembly and members of the military in Venezuela; talking about what might come, how they might move to support the opposition.

But I do think momentum is on the side of Guaido. I think [Guaido has] the overwhelming support of the population and the overwhelming support of the enlisted personnel in the military and the junior officers.

The public anti-TPS statement comes as Democratic legislators and some officials in the Department of State push for Trump to offer asylum to Venezuelans, including at least 75,000 said to be living in Florida. The Venezuelans arrived on short-term visas, including tourist visas, which do not allow them to work. If they take jobs or overstay their visas, they can be repatriated to Venezuela. There is no evidence that officials plan to deport Venezualans back to the dictatorship.

If officials offer TPS status to Venezualans, they will be allowed to stay and work in the United States for several years. That offer, however, would encourage many Venezuelans — including many who have already fled to countries around Venezuela, such as Brazil, — to migrate into the United States.

Currently, Trump’s deputies are trying to end TPS status for 300,000 migrants from Central America, some of whom arrived before 2001 and had their TPS status repeatedly extended by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Officials have also considered offering “Deferred Enforced Departure” status to Venezuelans in the United States. That announcement would allow the migrants to stay in the United States past their visa expiration date, but might not allow them to work jobs.

But the President’s focus is one reform in Venezuela, the official told Breitbart News. “We can reopen [international] markets and undo [economic] actions once Maduro goes … We would see no need for TPS so it is not really a conversation that is being entertained.”

On March 8, Breitbart News reported:

Sen. Marco Rubio and 23 Democratic Senators are asking President Donald Trump to grant asylum to Venezuelans, even though the grant would minimize the Venezuelans’ incentives to overthrow their country’s Cuban-backed dictatorship.

“We respectfully request that your Administration promptly designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to ensure that Venezuelan nationals currently present in the United States are not forced to return … [because a return] is not in the best long-term interest of the United States or our partners in the region,” said the March 7 letter.

However, offering asylum to Venezuelans would take the air out of the popular uprising against the dictatorship in the same way that Cuba’s communist dictatorship used U.S. immigration laws to deport its opponents to Florida, said David North, an expert at the Center for Immigration Studies.

“Successful revolutions are rarely pulled off by people who are not there.” North wrote.

The push for Venezuelan TPS is backed by some Republicans who claim it would boost GOP support in Florida’s 2020 presidential election, a sourced told Breitbart News. But there is little or no evidence that Venezuelans will vote for a low-immigration, small-government GOP, the source said.

For example, Guaido’s political party, Voluntad Popular, or “Popular Will,” is a member of the Socialist International group. It wants the nation’s huge oil reserves to be extracted by private companies, but also wants to use the oil funds to create a national fund.

But the inflow of many Venezuelan into Florida would aid employers and GOP donors in the real estate and retail sectors.

Democrats say they want TPS for Venezuelans.

 

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