39 Republicans join House Dems to pass ‘temporary’ asylum for ‘tsunami’ of Venezuelans

Millions of Venezuelans could potentially be granted asylum and temporary amnesty in the United States due to worsening conditions under socialist rule in their nation.

House Democrats were joined by 39 Republicans to pass a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for Venezuelans, thereby providing a path for those already in the U.S. to remain while giving an incentive to others escaping their socialist dictator.

The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Republican Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Democrat Rep. Darren Soto, passed by a vote of 272-158 and now heads to the U.S. Senate.

“The House of Representatives just spoke in a bipartisan voice that the situation is Venezuela is so dire and dangerous that nationals of Venezuela should be eligible for temporary protected status. I commend this legislative effort, as President Trump recently denied bipartisan congressional requests to extend TPS relief for Venezuelans,”  Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said ahead of Thursday’s vote.

“Senator McConnell must bring this legislation for a vote without delay. Any attempt to block this legislation turns a blind eye to the many Venezuelans yearning for a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Venezuela,” he added.

Republicans who joined with every single Democrat who voted included Reps. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio and Peter King of New York.

“If there is any population that meets the absolute statutory definition of being granted TPS, it is the Venezuelan people who have fled a dictator who is starving his own people,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, according to the Miami Herald.

The Democrat represents one of the largest Venezuelan communities in the country, with Florida being home to an estimated 170,000 Venezuelans, more than any state in the nation.

Democrats celebrated the vote after having urged their Republican colleagues to join them.

“The Chamber applauds Representatives Soto and Diaz-Balart for leading the House effort to pass H.R. 549, which would allow many Venezuelans currently in the U.S. the opportunity to legally remain and work in the U.S. while Venezuela is in a state of crisis,” Neil Bradley of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement, according to Breitbart News.

“The U.S. government should make it clear that Venezuelan nationals who pose no risk to the safety or security of the U.S. will not be sent back into harm’s way,” he added.

But Republicans opposed to the measure spoke out fiercely against the effort to continue an immigration policy that renders America as “the world’s orphanage for children and adults alike.”

“This bill proposes a tsunami of people coming to our country who are ill-equipped to support themselves,” Rep. Mo Brooks said on the House floor earlier this week.

(Video: YouTube/Rep. Mo Brooks)

“And, let’s put that into the perspective of where we are as a nation. We just blew through the $22 trillion debt mark earlier this year. This year, we are looking at a roughly $900 billion deficit. A deal that has been reached that will only increase our deficit by $2 trillion over the next two years pushing our debt up to $22 trillion. This is money we do not have, have to borrow to get, and cannot afford to pay back,” he said.

“How does that relate to H.R. 549? Well, let me share some numbers with you. Sixty percent of households with a lawful immigrant in them are on welfare, living off the hard work of others. Seventy percent of illegal alien households are on welfare, living off the hard work of others here in the United States of America,” he added.

“We have to get our own house in order and this legislation helps to increase that disorder,” Brooks said.

Many others agreed with the lawmaker.


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