In an effort to provide a legal path to permanent residency for Venezuelans in the United States, a bill called the “Venezuelan Adjustment Act” has been introduced. The bill was introduced by Florida Democratic Representative Darren Soto, along with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Frederica Wilson, and Republican Maria Elvira Salazar.
What is the Venezuelan Adjustment Act?
The Venezuelan Adjustment Act proposes to provide a pathway to lawful permanent residency for Venezuelans in the United States. This law would be similar in certain respects to the Cuban Adjustment Act, in effect since 1996, which allows Cubans residing in the United States who meet certain eligibility requirements to apply to become lawful permanent residents.
Who is eligible?
This law could benefit many Venezuelan nationals who have been living in the United States for years, provided they are eligible under the provisions of this bill. Eligible persons are:
* Venezuelans who apply for adjustment no later than 3 years after the date of enactment of the law.
* Venezuelans eligible to receive an immigrant visa.
* Venezuelans admissible to the United States for permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of immigration relief.
Even those who have been subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, removal, or voluntary departure under any provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act may file an application for adjustment of status.
Who is not eligible?
However, there are some exclusions. Individuals will not be eligible for adjustment of status if it is determined that the alien:
* Has been convicted of any aggravated felony.
* Has been convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense).
* Has ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion.
Benefits and Support
Beyond providing permanent legal status, the Venezuelan Adjustment Act is designed to offer permanent inclusion, insertion and social integration to Venezuelans in the United States. Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar has expressed her support for the law, stating that it would allow Venezuelans to continue to make significant contributions to their communities, the state of Florida and the country.
Rep. Soto stated that Venezuelans living in the United States need a path to permanent legal status for greater stability. This bipartisan bill adds to the efforts of President Joe Biden and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to provide Temporary Protected Status and a new parole program to Venezuelan refugees in Florida and across the country.
What is the current status of the bill?
So far, the bill has been introduced and is in the process of being reviewed. It is not yet known when it might be voted on or if it will eventually be approved. However, its presentation represents an important step in the search for solutions to the situation of Venezuelans in the United States.
Therefore, the Venezuelan Adjustment Act could be a hope for Venezuelans in the United States seeking a path to legal permanent residency. However, it is still necessary to wait and see how the proposal evolves in Congress.