–– Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) and Darren Soto (FL-09) issued the following statements after the House passed the bipartisan Venezuela TPS Act of 2019 by a vote of 272-158.
Rep. Diaz-Balart: “Today, the House of Representatives was able to gather the strong, bipartisan support needed to pass the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019. Today’s vote was an important victory toward the goal of ensuring that Venezuelan nationals who have fled the oppressive Maduro dictatorship are granted temporary protected status in the United States until it is safe for them to return to Venezuela.
“As I’ve mentioned before, our ultimate objective must be freedom for the Venezuelan people. Until that goal is reached, we must protect those who have escaped Maduro’s murderous, narco-terrorist regime. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to bring this bill to a vote. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate and the administration until we can secure protections for these individuals.”
Rep. Darren Soto: “Today’s historic passage of the Venezuela TPS Act aligns with our strongly held American values of compassion and democracy. Venezuelans have become the largest group of asylum seekers applying for refuge in the United States, with hundreds of thousands in Florida alone fearing persecution or death if they returned to their home country. With TPS extended to Venezuelans already in the U.S., we will be able to provide them refuge and save their lives. We now urge Leader Mitch McConnell to do the right thing, and support Senators Rubio and Menendez’s Venezuela TPS efforts, and bring our bill to the Senate Floor for a vote. We are encouraged by the vocal support from the Trump administration towards Venezuelans and expect TPS to be signed into law once it reaches the President’s desk. I’m proud to have worked together with Florida, and House, colleagues to advance the first bipartisan immigration bill to pass the House this Congress!”