Durbin, Menendez Statement On President Trump's Refusal To Designate Venezuela For TPS

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after the Trump Administration, in a letter from controversial Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ken Cuccinelli, stated that it will not designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).   

In March, Durbin and Menendez led a bipartisan group of 24 Senators in a letter to President Trump, urging his Administration to designate Venezuela for TPS so that Venezuelan nationals who are currently present in the United States will not be forced to return to their country at this dangerous time.  In the Administration’s response to this letter, they simply stated that they would continue to monitor the situation in Venezuela.

“President Trump cannot have it both ways.  He cannot warn Americans that Venezuela is so dangerous they should avoid traveling there and then turn around and tell Venezuelans in the U.S. they are forced to return.  It’s time for Congress to be consistent and humane and overrule this outrageous Trump policy.”    

In February, Durbin and Menendez, along with Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, a bill to immediately grant TPS for eligible Venezuelans fleeing the dire conditions in their home country and to strengthen migration systems in the countries surrounding Venezuela.