Immigration protections for nearly 340,000 Venezuelans in the U.S. were extended Monday through March 2024.
Driving the news: Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans can live in the U.S. an additional 18 months after the Biden administration’s decision, the Miami Herald reported.
President Joe Biden made the move amid calls from immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers to protect a larger group of Venezuelans, according to Politico.
However, the administration chose to extend temporary protected status rather than expand it, according to The Hill. Biden designated Venezuela for TPS shortly after taking office in 2021.
Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. after March 8, 2021, aren’t protected, according to the Miami Herald.
That leaves out an estimated 250,000 Venezuelans, Politico reported.
Critics sounds off: After lauding the extension, Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, questioned in a statement whether the move goes far enough.
“We encourage the Biden administration to expand protections for Venezuelans left out of today’s protection, and to grant additional TPS designations as humanitarian need demands, including for nationals of Mauritania and Ethiopia, who cannot safely return home,” Vignarajah said.
The bigger picture: Over 6 million Venezuelans have fled Venezuela over the course of its humanitarian crisis, according to the Miami Herald.
TPS benefits allow citizens from nations in crisis to live and work in the U.S., The Hill reported.