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Florida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela

Florida Republicans push Biden to implement Trump order on Venezuela
© Greg Nash

Florida Republicans and others are pushing the Biden administration to implement a last-minute order from former President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE blocking deportations of Venezuelans.

The order, signed by Trump on his last full day in office, defers deportation of some 145,000 Venezuelans for 18 months, blaming leader Nicolás Maduro for “the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory.”

Even as Biden rushes to undo a number of Trump’s immigration policies, his Venezuela order remains in limbo.

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The memo left the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for developing the guidelines of the program and ensuring work authorizations for those impacted by the order — something that has not yet happened under Biden.

“Many of our constituents are now awaiting guidance on the important particulars of their new ... status, such as the documentation required, procedures that must be followed, and how to obtain work authorization,” lawmakers wrote in a letter to DHS spearheaded by Rep. Mario Diaz-BalartMario Rafael Diaz-BalartGOP lawmakers ask Biden administration for guidance on reopening cruise industry The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by Facebook — Biden delivers 100 million shots in 58 days, doses to neighbors Biden grants temporary legal status to thousands of Venezuelans in US MORE (R-Fla.).

“Both the well-being of the American people and the perilous situation in Venezuela merits allowing Venezuelan nationals to remain in the United States."

The letter was also signed by Florida GOP Reps. Carlos Gimenez, Maria Elvira Salazar and Michael WaltzMichael WaltzOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief to press for Manchin's support on Colin Kahl | House Dems seek to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police 140 lawmakers call for Biden administration to take 'comprehensive' approach to Iran Top Republican: 'Outrageous' to extend National Guard deployment at Capitol MORE along with Del. Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico).

Under the Biden administration, the State Department continues to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president and Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenBlinken to return to Brussels to discuss Russia, Ukraine tensions Blinken warns it would be a 'serious mistake' for Taiwan's status to be changed 'by force' Blinken: China 'didn't do what it needed to do' in early stages of pandemic MORE referred to Maduro as a “brutal dictator.”

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DHS did not respond to request for comment, but Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasBiden is thinking about building that wall — and that's a good thing 3M files lawsuit against Florida company over fake N95 masks Omar slams Biden admin for continuing 'the construction of Trump's xenophobic and racist wall' MORE previously dinged the Trump administration for failing to provide protections to Venezuelans in the U.S.

“By deporting Cubans seeking asylum in our country and refusing to grant protected status to Venezuelans in the U.S., he inflicts harm on the very people our humanitarian laws were designed to protect,” Mayorkas wrote in an op-ed in Univision in September, calling for the Trump administration to grant Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans. 

“I have confidence in the dignity and humanity with which Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Jill Biden gives shout out to Champ, Major on National Pet Day MORE will apply our laws to Cuban and Venezuelan families in need of protection,” he wrote.