President Biden has signed an executive order that will give temporary protected status to an estimated 200,000 Venezuelans who have fled to the U.S. to escape the repressive regime of President Nicolas Maduro.
The order, which avoids a longer congressional process, will protect those Venezuelans living in the United States for 18 months, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"The living conditions in Venezuela reveal a country in turmoil, unable to protect its own citizens," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Monday when the order was signed. "It is in times of extraordinary and temporary circumstances like these that the United States steps forward to support eligible Venezuelan nationals already present here, while their home country seeks to right itself out of the current crisis."
President Trump opposed the Maduro regime and at end of his term issued an executive order deferring the removal of Venezuelans in the U.S. for 18 months. However, he did not grant them full temporary protected status.
More than 4 million Venezuelans have left their country, according to the United Nations refugee agency. And more than 800,000 have sought asylum around the world to escape poverty, violence and other problems under the Maduro regime, the newspaper also reports.