WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Rick Scott released the following statement ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and South Florida Democrats’ meeting with the Venezuelan community in Florida. This meeting comes after Senate Democrats blocked Senator Scott’s amendment that would immediately grant TPS to Venezuelans. His amendment has the support of Senate Republicans and is the only measure that has any chance of becoming law.
Senator Rick Scott said, “Democrats say they want to support Venezuelans escaping Maduro’s ruthless regime, but like many issues before us, they are all talk, no action. Last week, when presented with my amendment that would grant TPS to Venezuelans and reform the TPS program, Senate Democrats came to the floor to block it. It is shamefully clear that Senate Democrats are using the Venezuelan community to play politics instead of actually working together to get something done. Hopefully, this meeting will finally convince the Democrats to come to the table and work with us to help the Venezuelan people.”
As Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, the sponsor of the House-passed bill, tweeted last week: “It’s shameful that Senate Dems killed an amendment providing TPS for Venezuelans that had a real chance of becoming law. I commend Senator Rick Scott for his continued solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the US. We will continue to press for Venezuela TPS until it becomes law.”
Senator Scott’s amendment to Rep. Diaz-Balart’s House-passed TPS bill:
- Grants TPS to Venezuelans for 18 months;
- Requires Congressional approval for TPS extensions, no more than 18 months at a time;
- Limits the ability of illegal aliens with no connection to the TPS designation to benefit from TPS;
- Ensures that human rights violators identified under the Magnitsky Act are not eligible for TPS;
- Includes provisions to distinguish that TPS does not count as an admission for purposes of the Immigration and Nationality Act;
- Prevents TPS recipients from returning to the TPS country during the period of designation;
- And requires current TPS designations will come up for Congressional review two years after the enactment of this amendment.