Senators push to shield Venezuelans from deportation from US

By Suzanne Gamboa and Carmen Sesin

Top Senate Democrats and GOP Sen. Marco Rubio have joined forces on legislation that would allow Venezuelans to stay in the U.S. with temporary protection from deportation and work permits.

Sens. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee; Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate minority whip; Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Judiciary Committee ranking member and Rubio of Florida, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; introduced a bill that would grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans.

The United Nations has said that more than 3 million Venezuelan refugees have fled the country’s economic and political turmoil. Colombia has taken in most of the refugees, followed by Peru. Venezuelans also have fled to Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and Brazil.

But the U.N. has warned that those countries’ “reception capacity is severely strained” and has called for more response from the rest of the world.

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