Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Thursday that approximately 472,000 Venezuelan nationals living in the United States will be granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which will prevent them from being removed from the country and give them employment authorization.
The decision, according to a Thursday DHS press release, comes due to “extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning.”
The safety concerns cited by the DHS include the South American country’s “humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions.”
Under the TPS designation, Venezuelans who arrived in the U.S. on or before July 31, 2023, will be granted temporary protection from removal, and those who arrived before July 31 will be eligible for employment authorization.
“Temporary protected status provides individuals already present in the United States with protection from removal when the conditions in their home country prevent their safe return,” said Secretary Mayorkas in a statement.
“That is the situation that Venezuelans who arrived here on or before July 31 of this year find themselves in. We are accordingly granting them the protection that the law provides,” Mayorkas said.
“However, it is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023 are not eligible for such protection, and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay,” he added
There are currently 242,700 TPS beneficiaries under the country’s current designation — this move by the DHS will extend those protections to almost 500,000 eligible Venezuelans living in the U.S.