The US government will offer temporary residence permits for about 320,000 Venezuelan immigrants. American media reported this. Immigrants are allowed to stay in the United States for at least eighteen months and are also eligible for a work permit.
According to the government, it is currently not safe for migrants to return to Venezuela, where a severe economic crisis has been mounting for several years. President Joe Biden had already promised during his election campaign that he would grant temporary protection status to Venezuelan immigrants living in the United States. His predecessor, Donald Trump, pursued a stricter immigration policy and refused to grant immigrants temporary residence permits.
A government spokesperson said it is not safe for Venezuelan immigrants today to live in their countries of origin, according to US media. The spokesman said that there is “widespread hunger and malnutrition, an increasing presence and influence of non-state armed groups, and a dilapidated infrastructure.”
Due to the crisis, millions of Venezuelans have fled their country in recent years, especially to countries in the region. With 1.7 million refugees, neighboring Colombia has hosted the largest group of Venezuelans. The government of Colombian President Ivan Duque recently announced that 1 million of these refugees, who were illegal under the law, would receive residency permits for ten years. (Norwegian Refugee Council)
A copy of this article also appeared on nrc.next on March 10, 2021
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