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Biden Administration offers temporary legal residency to Venezuelans

Biden Administration offers temporary legal residency to Venezuelans

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New Delhi: The Biden administration on Monday late night offered temporary legal residency to several hundred thousand Venezuelans who fled their country’s economic collapse.

Biden administration will review the US sanctions intended to isolate the South American nation.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced it would grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans already in the United States, allowing an estimated 320,000 people to apply to legally live and work in the country for 18 months.

The Trump administration had significantly tightened US economic sanctions on Venezuela, most notably on its crucial oil sector, to try and force President Nicolas Maduro to give up power after an election in 2018 that the United States and more than 50 other countries consider fraudulent.

A senior Biden administration official portrayed that as a failed strategy.

“The United States is in no rush to lift sanctions,” the official said

In the last few years, the Venezuelan economy has been in free fall, with widespread shortages of food and medicine and frequent power outages. An estimated 5 million people have fled, mostly to neighboring countries such as Colombia, but many have settled in South Florida.

The Biden official said the Maduro government has ‘adapted’ to the most punishing of the sanctions, against transactions with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, and the US needs to work with its allies on new strategies.

Citizens of 10 countries which are around 400,000 people – are in the United States now with temporary protected status. The largest number comes from El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti many with U.S. citizen children and spouses. The Trump administration had sought to phase out the program – arguing that it had effectively become permanent residency after repeated extensions.



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