By Felicia J. Persaud
News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. Sept. 29, 2023: Last week, US Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the extension and redesignation of Temporary Protected Status, (TPS), for Venezuelans.
This extension will be for 18 months, due to what the Cuban-born Mayorkas dubbed “extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning.”
This redesignation provides temporary protection from deportation for Venezuelans as well as employment authorization for those from the South American country who were within the borders of the United States before July 31, 2023.
While this is good news for many Venezuelans, the reality is that 11 million immigrants have been living in the US for years, some up to a decade, and paying taxes. Democratic administration after Democratic administration, as well as candidates for President, have all promised to address the issue each election season as a smoke signal to immigrant voters. However, once elections are over, the promise or smoke signals vanish.
Now many immigrants are annoyed that the influx of many new migrants into the US, have essentially left them further in the shadows, as they have quickly moved on to getting asylum applications in and awaiting work permits.
LULAC, the nation’s oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization, recognizes this and last week also urged equal treatment for other undocumented immigrants fleeing danger, violence and in the US for more than 10 years.
The organization urged the Biden administration “to move with equal vigor to normalize the immigration status of 11 million other persons in the United States, the vast majority Mexicans, many of whom have been in the country years or decades, working, living lawfully, and paying taxes.”
“LULAC’s commitment to comprehensive immigration reform is as strong as ever, and this is a moment in history when the need in our nation for a strong labor force and infusion of economic life blood has never been greater,” said Lydia Guzman, Chair of LULAC’s National Immigration Committee. “Undocumented Mexicans in the U.S. are doing a great deal for our nation and deserve protections from deportation and exploitation.”
Ray Mancera, LULAC national vice president for the Southwest, whose region borders Mexico, added that so far, there has only been “broken promises.”
Mancera is right. President Biden campaigned on a comprehensive immigration reform within the borders at a time when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress.
But as usual, once elected, Biden and Democrats won, they quickly forgot those promises and marched right on into keeping many of Donald Trump’s policies in place for months, and forgetting the millions who keep America’s economic wheel churning daily.
It is time the administration uses its executive power more – just as Trump did in his bid to satisfy his voting bloc – to fulfil promises to its own base. More must be done between now and the 2024 elections if the Biden administration hopes to get the support of immigrant voters for another term.
If TPS is good for one bloc, it certainly can be a viable option for others, including Mexicans. Now is the time to explore all administrative avenues before the upcoming general elections, or else bid farewell to the chance of keeping power in both the White House and the Senate!
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com, the Black Immigrant Daily.