Senior officials at the State Department have been seriously weighing whether to push to protect Venezuelans in the U.S. from deportation, according to internal communications The Daily Beast reviewed.
People from several other countries, including Somalia and Yemen, currently have the same Temporary Protected Status status, which also grants migrants short-term work permits. But extending the policy to Venezuelans would be an atypical step for the Trump administration, which has taken steps to end TPS for people from half a dozen other countries. Some Trump administration allies consider the move tantamount to granting “amnesty” to those who have violated immigration laws.
Officials have explored the process in great detail, according to the communications, but there is not consensus in the department on the issue. Elliott Abrams, Trump’s special envoy for Venezuela, has participated in the discussions, as has Sec. Mike Pompeo.