Senate Democrats were seeking unanimous consent to pass H.R. 549, the House-passed Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, but Senate Republicans blocked the vote. Senate Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, along with Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Menendez, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, and Senator Van Hollen all took active roles in support of the legislation that designates Venezuela as a country under the TPS program.
“Over 200,000 Venezuelans living in the United States fled Maduro’s oppressive regime, escaping a dire economic and humanitarian crisis,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “Venezuelans are in urgent need of protection and the least we can do is shield them from deportation back to a nation rife with political repression and human suffering, all in the middle of a global pandemic.”
After Senate Republicans blocked a vote for his House-passed Venezuela TPS Act, local Congressman Darren Soto also voiced his frustration. “Each day Senate Republicans block our legislation to designate temporary protected status for Venezuelans is another day they put this vulnerable community at risk for deportation to a country wretched with an economic and humanitarian crisis,” he said. “The reality is that Republicans love to talk about getting tough on Venezuela, but when it comes time to put action to words, they continuously block legislation to protect Venezuelan nationals in America.
“Democrats have persistently supported, introduced, and passed legislation to provide relief to Venezuela,” Senator Schumer added. “Despite having all the authority that he would need to solve this problem on his own, President Trump won’t grant Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans in America and his enablers in the Senate have repeatedly blocked passage of House legislation that would provide it.”