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Venezuelan-American and Pro-Business Organizations Welcome the Extension of TPS for Venezuelans and Call for Redesignation and Permanent Immigration Solutions
Bipartisan group of Venezuelan-American leaders also called on Congress to deliver a pathway to citizenship for Venezuelan TPS Holders through bipartisan immigration reform legislation.
Miami, FL — On Tuesday morning, the American Business Immigration Coalition, the Venezuelan American Caucus, Casa de Venezuela Orlando, Casa de Venezuela Tampa Bay, and the Venezuelan American Alliance held a press conference to thank the Biden administration on the announcement of the extension of TPS for Venezuelans in the United States, emphasized the need to redesignate TPS for the 250,000 Venezuelan nationals who arrived after March 9, 2021, and called on Congress to deliver a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders.
Samuel Vilchez Santiago, ABIC’s Florida State Director who came to the United States as a political asylee from Venezuela, stated, “today, we join a coalition of bipartisan leaders and Members of Congress in asking the Department of Homeland Security to redesignate TPS for over 250,000 Venezuelans who arrived after the original designation on March 9th, 2021. The situation in Venezuela has worsened over the last year and a half. Recently arrived Venezuelans live in constant fear of being deported to a country in which their rights are systematically violated.”
Ade Ferro, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Venezuelan-American Caucus, added, “Venezuelans who came to the United States after March 9th, 2021, are suffering the same conditions today as those who left Venezuela prior to that date. While we celebrate and are thankful that TPS is being extended until March 2024, we will keep urging Secretary Mayorkas to redesignate Venezuela for TPS.”
Venezuelan TPS recipient Cecilia Gonzalez shared her personal story: “I escaped political persecution from Maduro’s assassin dictatorship. Now, I am a college student with a 4.0 GPA who at some point had two jobs to make ends meet. We contribute to our economy, and while we are thankful for the extension of TPS from the Biden administration, it is not enough. We need to keep fighting for more. We need permanent immigration solutions.“
Maria Antonieta Diaz, President of the Venezuelan American Caucus mentioned, “TPS extension for Venezuela brings long-awaited relief, but it remains a temporary respite. The political turmoil and economic devastation is not a temporary situation and will not improve for 18 months. We insist on a path to permanent residence for TPS holders.“
Founder of Casa de Venezuela Orlando William Díaz declared, “we ask Senator Rubio to stop politicizing immigration solutions for the Venezuelan community. His recent comments about the extension of TPS are not welcomed by our community. The Venezuelan cause has bipartisan support.”
President Emeritus of Casa de Venezuela Tampa Bay Javier Torres said, “The Venezuelan people continue suffering from the lack of basic services, like food and health services. The TPS extension will help stabilize the situation, at least temporarily, for thousands of Venezuelans in the United States. But we also need to expedite pending asylum cases. We are grateful to the administration, but we need more.“
Florida business leaders have also expressed their support for the extension and redesignation of TPS for Venezuelans:
Florida business leader Mike Fernandez, Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners and ABIC Co-Chair, made an economic case for the TPS redesignation and called on Congress to deliver permanent immigration solutions: “Venezuelans and other TPS holders contribute to Florida’s economy as essential workers and tax-payers. While the extension of TPS for Venezuelans is welcomed, we must do more. We can and should redesignate TPS for recently arrived Venezuelans, and most importantly, we can and should pass a bipartisan immigration reform bill that includes a pathway to citizenship for TPS holders. Without a doubt, permanent immigration solutions can help us fix our struggling economy by alleviating our labor shortages, which will help lower costs for all Americans.”
Leonard Boord, a Florida-based Venezuelan American business leader and ABIC supporter, added, “There are more than 60,000 TPS holders currently residing in Florida. This number is only expected to grow as 340,000 Venezuelans and 95,000 Haitians are now eligible for TPS. They earn more than $880 million in household income and pay over $89.4 million in state and local taxes. They need and deserve a pathway to citizenship so that they don’t have to wait for a TPS extension every 18 months. Their contributions to our economy are clear: we benefit from their work.”
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) is a bipartisan coalition of over 1,200+ CEOs, business owners, and trade associations across 16 mostly red and purple states. ABIC Action promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
The Venezuelan American Caucus is a grassroots organization dedicated to building an infrastructure of active and informed Venezuelan-American citizens with the purpose of ensuring our participation and engagement in the drafting and implementation of U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
Casa de Venezuela Orlando has supported Central Florida’s growing Venezuelan community for the last 20 years through community service, civic engagement efforts, and information campaigns, seeking to build an integrated community that succeeds socially, politically, and economically.
Casa de Venezuela Tampa Bay is a non-profit organization that works to strengthen the Venezuelan community in the Tampa Bay area, empowering Venezuelans to pursue their economic, political, and social goals in order to accomplish their American dream.
The Venezuelan American Alliance seeks to create awareness of the social, political, and economic situation in Venezuela among the United States government and population, to advocate for legislation, regulation and programs to support and promote freedom, democracy and human rights for its population and diaspora, and help regain the road to prosperity.