The following media release was shared on Wednesday by the office of Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL):
WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary passed the Venezuela TPS Act (H.R. 549), legislation introduced by Representatives Darren Soto (FL-09) and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), which designates Venezuelan nationals as eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States. The bipartisan legislation will now be considered by the full House of Representatives as the first ever standalone bill granting TPS.
“The growing turmoil and dire humanitarian crisis in Venezuela under Maduro’s tyranny is forcing millions into exile,” said Congressman Darren Soto. “In Florida alone, there are hundreds of thousands of political-asylum seekers who face persecution and even death upon return to their country. With the historic passage of this bill out of Committee, we are acknowledging the struggle of the Venezuelan people and working to lend a helping hand. The whole world continues to witness Maduro’s blatant disregard for human rights, including arbitrary arrests, media censorship, imprisonment of the opposition, and the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters. It is our moral duty to help those escaping this terror.”
“We’re encouraged by the passage of legislation to help Venezuelans out of both Chambers’ Committees and urge leadership to promptly allow for a full vote. As this bill advances, it is poised to become the first legislative project ever to grant TPS out of Congress,” Rep. Soto concluded.
The Venezuela TPS Act is co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 30 U.S. Representatives, including Eliot Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Rep Bonamici, Suzanne [OR-1], Rep Boyle, Brendan [PA-2], Rep Castor, Kathy [FL-14], Rep Cicilline, David [RI-1], Rep Crist, Charlie [FL-13], Rep Curtis, John [UT-3], Rep Dean, Madeleine [PA-4], Rep Deutch, Theodore [FL-22], Rep Espaillat, Adriano [NY-13], Rep Evans, Dwight [PA-3], Rep Garcia, Chuy [IL-4], Rep Gonzalez-Colon, Jenniffer [PR], Rep Haaland, Debra [NM-1], Rep Hastings, Alcee [FL-20], Rep Levin, Andy [MI-9], Rep Moulton, Seth [MA-6], Rep Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie [FL-26], Rep Murphy, Stephanie [FL-7], Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC], Rep Phillips, Dean [MN-3], Rep Scanlon, Mary Gay [PA-5], Rep Shalala, Donna [FL-27], Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-8], Rep Smith, Adam [WA-9], Rep Trone, David [MD-6], Rep Velazquez, Nydia [NY-7], Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-23], Rep Wild, Susan [PA-7].
The Senate companion bill, S.636 Temporary Protected Status Act of 2019, introduced by Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is cosponsored by Sen Booker, Cory [D-NJ], Sen Cardin, Benjamin [D-MD], Sen Cortez Masto, Catherine [D-NV], Sen Durbin, Richard J. [D-IL], Sen Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN], Sen Leahy, Patrick [D-VT], Sen Rubio, Marco [R-FL], and Sen Van Hollen, Chris [D-MD].