Senators propose bill to let thousands of Venezuelans remain in U.S.

By REUTERS
March 1, 2019 01:49
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WASHINGTON - Republican and Democratic U.S. senators proposed legislation on Thursday that would let an estimated 72,000 Venezuelans remain in the United States after fleeing chaos in their country.

Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bob Menendez introduced the legislation along with Democrats Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy and Cory Booker. It would immediately grant "Temporary Protected Status" to allow Venezuelans who passed security checks to remain in the United States for 18 months.There was no immediate indication of whether the Senate's Republican leaders would allow the measure to come up for a vote. The bill's backers hope that continued uncertainty in Venezuela and President Donald Trump's support for the opposition movement seeking to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro will ease any resistance.

Trump has generally been an immigration skeptic, and his administration has pushed to end TPS status for other immigrant groups, including Salvadorans, Hondurans and Haitians.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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