President Biden has offered temporary refuge to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans inside the United States on Monday, citing "the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela," according to a senior administration official.
This means a whopping over 320,000 Venezuelan nationals who've been in the country either illegally or at least through legally ambiguous circumstances would not face threat of deportation. There's little doubt that there will be a flood of Venezuelans seeking to enter the country to take advantage of the new declaration. Those issued the protected status will now be able to freely live and work in the US.
Seeking to preempt this legitimate alarming concern the administration official who briefed reporters during a conference call said, "We very much expect that smugglers and other unscrupulous individuals will be now claiming that the border is open, and that is not the case," according to Miami Herald.
Yet the irony and contradiction remains that "The United States is in no rush to lift sanctions," as the official told reporters. Biden has signaled he'll continue Trump's push to cause political transition in the socialist country, which remains in the midst of runaway inflation, infrastructure decay and collapse, and severe fuel and food shortages.
The oil export blockade so far has remained on the country. Though widespread corruption and mismanagement has been rampant as ever, the added reality is the US-led sanctions and resource blockade has only served to punish the population further.
Thus Washington itself has played no small part in displacing the millions which have fled the country. The supreme irony remains that Biden's apparent 'humanitarian answer' is to maintain sanctions but 'open the gates' in terms of migrants seeking refuge in the US.
Some of the details of how DHS will handle Biden's temporary refuge plan are as follows:
The White House said Venezuelans living in the U.S. as of March 8 will be eligible for the new protected status, which will last 18 months and could be extended. They will have 180 days to apply to the Department of Homeland Security; the cost will be as much as $545 for biometric screening, work authorization and other paperwork.
The Biden administration has published the official grant of Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela in the Federal Register.— Aaron Reichlin-Melnick (@ReichlinMelnick) March 8, 2021
The notice ALSO provides a procedure for applying for Deferred Enforced Departure, which Trump granted on January 19th.https://t.co/nc1Aoe3Vsq pic.twitter.com/6nivFHady8
The UN has estimated that over 5 million have fled after the Nicolás Maduro government came to power. We can imagine that many of these are now eyeing how to get into the United States by any means possible at this point.
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Bob Menendez hailed the move as "striking a blow to the Maduro regime"...
"We are striking a blow to the Maduro regime, which has for years deprived its own citizens of education, health care, basic freedoms, and even food," said Menendez, D-N.J. "As a result of actions taken today, upwards of 300,000 Venezuelan women, men, and children … will no longer live in fear of being returned back to Maduro’s humanitarian catastrophe."
But in the end it will be the American public and taxpayer that will absorb the blow while the average Venezuelan continues to suffer the fallout effects of US sanctions.