As part of the latest administrative determinations President Trump signed an executive order preventing Venezuelans on U.S. soil from being deported, arguing the precarious living conditions in Venezuela under the government of Nicolás Maduro.
“The autocratic government of Nicolás Maduro has consistently violated the sovereign freedoms possessed by the Venezuelan people. Through force and fraud, the Maduro regime is responsible for the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory,” the document states.
The memorandum, addressed to the secretary of state and the secretary of national security, states, “A catastrophic economic crisis and shortages of basic goods and medicine have forced about five million Venezuelans to flee the country, often under dangerous conditions.”
Given the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, which represents a permanent threat to the security and well-being of the American people, the executive order establishes that Venezuelans may remain in the United States for a period of 18 months.
The directive applies to those illegal Venezuelans who are on U.S. soil since Jan. 20, 2021, with the exception of those who have decided to voluntarily return to their usual country outside the United States.
The order also does not cover those who have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021, who have been convicted of a felony or two or more misdemeanors committed in the United States.
Those who meet the criteria set forth in section 208 (b) (2) (A) of the INA (8 USC 1158 (b) (2) (A)) may also defer their stay in the United States, the document details.
It states that they will not be admissible under section 212 (a) (3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 USC 1182 (a) (3)) or removable under section 237 (a) (4) of the INA (8 USC 1227 (a) (4)).
Nor are those who were deported, excluded, or removed before January 20, 2021; are subject to extradition; or whose presence in the United States, as determined by the secretary of Homeland Security, is not in the interest of the United States or represents a danger to public safety.
Those whose presence represents adverse consequences to U.S. foreign policy are also not covered by the executive order, as determined by the secretary of State.
President Trump’s administration has defined a foreign policy for Venezuela that disapproves of the authoritarianism of Maduro’s socialist regime and its severe impact on the country’s development.
Last Tuesday, the State Department announced a series of sanctions by the Treasury Department against three people, 14 commercial entities and six ships, accused of collaborating with the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, which evaded U.S. sanctions.