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Brooks opposes temporary protected status for Venezuelans

Congressman Mo Brooks

Tuesday, in response to a planned U.S. House floor vote to grant Venezuelans eligibility for so-called “Temporary Protected Status” (HR549), Congressman Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville introduced the “TPS Reform Act.” The bill requires that Congress must vote on and approve a nation’s citizens’ eligibility for Temporary Protected Status and sets strict but reasonable maximum lengths for Temporary Protected Status duration.

The Temporary Protected Status program was established as a temporary immigration status granted to eligible foreign nationals based on armed conflict or natural disaster, and the like. Brooks said that in reality, Temporary Protected Status is not “temporary” at all. Rather, it is a de facto permanent protection from deportation for foreign nationals in America. Before the Trump Administration, not a single person was ever forced to leave America because his Temporary Protected Status expired.

Brooks said that the “TPS Reform Act” enjoys support from influential immigration groups: NumbersUSA and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“Temporary Protected Status is de facto amnesty,” Rep. Brooks said. “Until the Trump Administration, renewals for eligibility in the program were simply rubber-stamped. Often, TPS is granted to illegal aliens after they are caught by immigration enforcement officials. The TPS program is rife with abuse and desperately needs reform. My bill, the ‘TPS Reform Act,’ would remove TPS protection from illegal aliens, strip the Executive Branch of the authority to designate TPS, and give that power back to Congress so future administrations cannot as easily abuse TPS authority. More than 400,000 illegal aliens may reside in the United States under the description of TPS.[2] TPS eligible illegal aliens may benefit from work permits, Social Security Numbers, driver’s licenses, and more. Open-borders Socialist Democrats should put Americans first instead of expanding this badly-broken, often-abused amnesty program.”

“As an aside, it’s ironic that Socialist Democrats are so eager to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who flee a country destroyed by the very evils of socialism Democrats seek to force on Americans,” Brooks concluded.

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Executive Director Dan Stein supports Brooks legislation.

“Our laws should not reward illegal immigrants to the United States regardless of the political or natural upheavals in their homelands,” Director Stein said. “Otherwise, experience shows that we will encourage further illegal immigration. By now, we should have learned from experience that TPS is misnamed—what we offer as ‘temporary’ protection is most often seen by the aliens residing illegally in the United States as a foot in the door to legal permanent residence. They are happy to accept our offer of humanitarian concern, but they have no intention of departing the United States when TPS status expires.”

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Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations at NumbersUSA, also praised the “TPS Reform Act.”

“Past administrations have been abusing this temporary, humanitarian program for 29 years, using it as a de facto amnesty program,” Jenks said. “This bill would restore critical oversight by Congress.”

While influential immigration reform group Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) does not endorse legislation, CIS Executive Director, Mark Krikorian, wrote in May of 2017: “But what’s really needed is a statutory change. The TPS statute allows the executive to keep renewing this temporary status indefinitely. Instead, we need to change the law, so that the administration can grant TPS, but any extension would require an act of Congress. Our lawmakers still might choose poorly, but at least they’d be on the record and could be pressured by voters. Rep. Mo Brooks introduced free-standing legislation to do just this in the last Congress…. It’s long past time to fix the TPS statute so that ‘temporary’ no longer means permanent.”

Once one of the most prosperous nations in South America, the socialist-totalitarian government of Hugo Chavez squandered the nation’s oil resources, nationalized the nation’s industries and farms, and drove the population to the brink of starvation. His successor, Nikolas Maduro, is still clinging to power.

Congressman Mo Brooks represents Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District.


Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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