President Biden has by executive order for tens of thousands of Venezuelans living in the United States illegally.
TPS was created by Congress to provide legal status for aliens unable or unwilling to leave the United States and return to their homeland because of temporarily unsettled conditions due to the political or security situation, or natural disaster. Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s harsh dictatorship and economic collapse are the justification for the TPS action.
However, the Trump
administration reacted differently. At the close of his term, President Trump
ordered a temporary ban on deportation of Venezuelans, but without giving them
TPS. That was a measure that had the effect of offering temporary protection
against deportation without conferring legal status. The background for that
action was the fact that TPS had been consistently abused by prior
administrations to the extent that ending TPS became a political issue.
President Trump decided to face that political issue by ending TPS designation
for some of the nationals who had been given that status many years earlier.
The other reason TPS is
controversial is that no distinction is made in the designation between those
from a TPS country who entered or stayed illegally in the U.S. and those who
came after conditions in the home country deteriorated. This distinction means
that TPS is granted equally to illegal aliens who have no intent to return to
their homeland as soon as conditions improve and those who seek to return as
soon as it is safe to do so.
The Trump administration,
while providing humanitarian protection for some Venezuelans, stopped short of
offering TPS to those with the intent of violating our national sovereignty. It
was a very much needed step in ending the abuse inherent in the TPS system.
Unfortunately, The Biden administration has now undone that needed change and
restored use of the inappropriate TPS provision.