Washington: President Donald Trump here on Tuesday (local time) said that he was looking into the possibility of granting temporary asylum to thousands of Venezuelans who have fled to the United States amid political turmoil in their country.
Al Jazeera quoted Trump as saying that the ongoing political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela was a horrible thing that has “been brewing for a long time”, and his administration was looking at granting Venezuelans temporary protected status “very seriously.”
However, Trump’s remark entirely contradicts his own tough stance on the immigration crisis. Lately, Washington has moved to discontinue the Temporary Protection Status (TPS) for many countries. The Trump administration, in addition, also implemented a “zero-tolerance” policy at the US southern border with Mexico.
The TPS is granted to people from the countries ravaged by natural disasters or war and allows them to stay in the US until the situation improves back at home.
Meanwhile, two congressional panels have already advanced bills granting protections to Venezuelans.
The South American nation is currently facing a severe shortage of basic goods and hyperinflation, especially after the political system plunged into a crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the interim President amid throngs of cheering supporters who called for President Nicolas Maduro to step down earlier this year.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), about four million Venezuelans, almost 15 per cent of the population, have left the country to escape the crisis.