The Trump administration has denied a request by a group of 24 senators to provide Venezuelans in the United States temporary immigrant benefits in light of the humanitarian crisis in the South American country.
In a July 11 letter, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Ken Cuccinelli said the administration "continues to monitor the situation in Venezuela" but declined to answer the senators' request to President Donald Trump to grant temporary protected status for Venezuelans.
Sens. Dick Durbn, D-Ill., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., made the plea March 9 to President Trump for TPS designation.
"There may be other immigration relief measures available to Venezuelan nationals affected by the current conditions in Venezuela," Cuccinelli responded.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely talk abut the issue on his upcoming trip to Ecuador, which has been flooded with more than 260,000 Venezuelan refugees, The Hill reported.
"President Trump cannot have it both ways," Menendez and Durbin complained, The Hill reported. "He cannot warn Americans that Venezuela is so dangerous they should avoid traveling there and then turn around and tell Venezuelans in the U.S. they are forced to return."
"It's time for Congress to be consistent and humane and overrule this outrageous Trump policy," they said.
Rubio, the lone Republican on the March 7 letter, noted the USCIS did not explicitly deny the request.
"Obviously, I support TPS, but I/d like to see some other administrative remedy because, frankly, we're wasting money going after people we shouldn't be deporting and couldn't even if we wanted to," he said, The Hill reported.
Since taking office, Trump has ordered termination of TPS for an array of countries, including El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras, and Nepal.
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