The Minister Counselor of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, Gustavo Marcano, announced on Monday the preparation of a census of Venezuelans who need Temporary Protection Status (TPS) to present it to the US authorities in order to promote its prompt approval.
Marcano made the announcement outside the Broward Transitional Center, a detention center near Miami where he and other members of the diplomatic delegation representing opposition leader Juan Guaidó met with 40 Venezuelans – 38 men and two women – held there for immigration reasons.
“We are waiting for the new administration to be sworn in to give them a precise number to be able to work with them and we never have to see people (in the conditions) like the ones we saw today,” he said.
What Venezuelans need is a guarantee to be able to live free and work legally in this country and not be deported to Venezuela, he stressed.
The minister-counselor emphasized that none of the 40 Venezuelans he visited has committed any crime and the only reason they are detained is because they had to flee Venezuela persecuted by Nicolás Maduro’s “narco-dictatorship” or in search of opportunities for them and their families due to the economic crisis in Venezuela.
The representatives of Guaidó, recognized by the US Government and those of another fifty countries as interim president of Venezuela, said that none of the Venezuelans in that center located in north Miami has been infected with covid-19.
The Venezuelans at the Broward Transitional Center told them that detainees who show symptoms of Covid-19 are placed in isolation in special areas, Marcano said in response to a journalist who questioned him about some complaints of overcrowding and lack of hygiene raised by relatives of other undocumented persons held in that center.
According to Marcano, Venezuelans did raise the need for easier access to medicines that some require for chronic conditions.
Marcano insisted that they will do everything possible so that the government that will take office in January or the US Congress approves the TPS for Venezuelans in the first month of 2021, something to which the Democrat Joe Biden, already president-elect, viewed favorably during the electoral campaign.
The diplomat noted that the embassy headed by Carlos Vecchio has met with representatives and senators, both Democrats and Republicans, in order to pave the way.
The purpose of the registry or census of Venezuelans in “migratory vulnerability” is to approve that protection “as quickly as possible” either by executive or legislative means, he added.
“This is a temporary measure, until we achieve the freedom of the country in free and transparent elections,” he stressed.
The Minister Counselor of the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, Brian Fincheltub, stressed that there are more than five million Venezuelans who have fled from “a dictatorship that does not respect basic and fundamental rights” and are scattered around the world.
To date there are 257 Venezuelans in prisons for immigrants in the United States, according to the official, who showed his satisfaction because exactly a year ago there were 1,100.
Thanks to a joint effort with immigration attorneys “pro bono” (without fees), they achieved that more than 70% of those 1,100 can wait in freedom to resolve their immigration status.
The director of consular affairs stressed that they are going to visit all those who are still detained and make lawyers available to them to help them regain their freedom.