Sen. Marco Rubio and 23 Democratic Senators are asking President Donald Trump to grant asylum to Venezuelans, even though the grant would minimize the Venezuelans’ incentives to overthrow their country’s Cuban-backed dictatorship.
“We respectfully request that your Administration promptly designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to ensure that Venezuelan nationals currently present in the United States are not forced to return … [because a return] is not in the best long-term interest of the United States or our partners in the region,” said the March 7 letter.
However, offering asylum to Venezuelans would take the air out of the popular uprising against the dictatorship in the same way that Cuba’s communist dictatorship used U.S. immigration laws to deport its opponents to Florida, said David North, an expert at the Center for Immigration Studies.
“Successful revolutions are rarely pulled off by people who are not there.” North wrote.
The population of Venezuela is roughly 31 million.
The asylum letter is being pushed by top Democratic Senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dick Durbin. Both Senators have fought bitterly to block the President’s immigration reforms, including construction of a border wall and reforms of the pro-migration asylum rules which are now encouraging a mass migration of Central Americans into the United States.
Florida GOP Sen. Rubio signed on to the letter, likely with the support of various GOP donors and business groups who stand to gain from an infusion of investments and spending by Venezuelan migrants. Rubio posted the TPS plan on his official Twitter account, but not on his personal account.
Joined my colleagues in urging @POTUS designate TPS for Venezuela. We must ensure Venezuelan nationals currently present in the U.S. are not forced to return to their homeland at this time.https://t.co/RyU3W6Qxp2
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) March 8, 2019