For years, the Trump administration considered extending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuelan nationals fleeing the humanitarian crisis in their home country. On his way out of the Oval Office, Trump used the Deferred Enforced Departure program (DED) to offer temporary legal status to certain Venezuelan refugees.
The little-known program is similar to TPS but does not require congressional approval. Instead of being granted by the Department of Homeland Security, DED is granted by the president himself.
In one of his final memos, issued less than 16 hours before the end of his presidency, Trump wrote:
“The deteriorative condition within Venezuela, which presents an ongoing national security threat to the safety and well-being of the American people, warrants the deferral of the removal of Venezuelan nationals who are present in the United States.”
DED defers deportation protection for 18 months and allows Venezuelan nationals to work within the United States. The memo went into effect on January 20, 2021, and is expected to protect about 200,000 Venezuelan citizens from deportation.
Why DED Instead of TPS?
Although DED and TPS will protect approximately the same number of refugees, Republicans have long stood against TPS, as they fear it will eventually become a path to permanent residency in the United States. In 2019, the House introduced a bipartisan bill to grant TPS to Venezuelans, but the GOP-controlled Senate thwarted the legislation. DED allowed the Trump administration to pass deportation protections without political roadblocks. According to Politico, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner pushed for DED to build goodwill with South Florida’s Venezuelan community. Trump won Doral, the home of the largest Venezuelan community in the United States, in 2020, and the aforementioned Trump family will reside in South Florida after exiting the White House.
What Does This Mean for Me?
If you are a Venezuelan national, the DED program may protect you from deportation and allow you to work legally within the United States for the next 18 months. With certain exceptions, Trump’s memo applies to all Venezuelan nationals – and those who habitually resided in Venezuela before coming to the United States.
Still, for clarification about your rights and legal options, we encourage you to contact The Law Office of Mana Yegani today.
Call us at (832) 981-2170 or send us a message online to get started today – our team of fierce and fearless advocates will fight to help you stay in the United States.