Miami-Dade Commission Urges TPS Protection for Venezuelans in the US - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami-Dade Commission Urges TPS Protection for Venezuelans in the US

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    The Miami-Dade Commission is calling on President Trump to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans in the United States. (Published Monday, Aug. 7, 2017)

    With the trouble growing in Venezuela by the minute, the Miami-Dade Commission is calling for Washington to allow Venezuelans living in the U.S. to remain here longer.

    The Commission Monday wrote the President asking for what's known as Temporary Protected Status be granted to Venezuelans who fear being killed, or have no way to work and survive if they go back home.

    There are more than 70,000 Venezuelans in Miami-Dade County and many of them are panicking about their loved ones in Caracas and other cities. The Temporary Protected Status would mean that Venezuelans who are in the U.S. visiting, or about to have their visas expire, they wouldn't have to go back to their homeland.

    The chaos in Venezuela now a daily occurrence. There were more street battles taking place as a new National Assembly was recently sworn in. The move to install the Assembly called a farce and a fraud by much of the international community including the Trump White House. Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura said he's making the moves to restore peace. However, social media on the weekend showed postings of military soldiers opposing the government's recent moves.

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    Monday afternoon, the Miami Dade Commission voted in an emergency session to support Venezuelans fighting for democracy. The Commission is sending a letter to the White House that applauds sanctions already taken, condemns election results for the newly installed National Assembly and urges the Temporary Protected Status for Venezuelans here.

    Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz organized the action, even rousting up enough of the commissioners to return from their vacations to vote in favor.

    "I think its something that is very doable within our community especially showing the history in Haiti and Nicaragua that did get the temporary protected status," Diaz told NBC 6. "I think its something that we are all united to make that we can talk to the President."

    Mayor Carlos Gimenez also supported the move.

    "I think there's a solid case for the United States to grant temporary protected status. This is not a economic issue. This is really political asylum," Gimenez said.

    Damian Perez, who has family in Caracas, says the TPC would really make a difference.

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    "I have a cousin actually who came here a couple of days ago actually and she has been out of work for years because of the economic situation." Perez said. "People are suffering. If the they can be here with relatives, families, that's what we are looking for."

    The State Department rules say the temporary status can be granted when there's an ongoing armed conflict, an environmental disaster and other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

    Daniella Capriles, whose father is the elected mayor of Caracas, but who has been placed on house arrest, came to Miami to thank the Commission. "Its very similar the situation in Syria. They started fighting like a government that was becoming dictatorial," Capriles said. "So, I think we are not far from becoming another Syria, or another Aleppo, because the government. This is not a civil war this is the government killing civilians because we are protesting against them."

    This request for the temporary status is just going up to Washington, so it has to be evaluated. Commissioner Diaz and the Venezelean community in South Florida are hoping the approval comes soon.

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