On January 19, 2021, President Trump granted Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Venezuelans for a period of eighteen months. DED is a humanitarian form of relief that protects individuals who cannot return to their home country. For the eighteen months that the DED is in place, Venezuelans are not subject to removal from the United States. In Trump’s memorandum granting DED to Venezuelans, he also authorized employment authorization.
President Trump chose to grant Venezuelan DED because of the violations of sovereign freedoms in Venezuela occurring at this time. In the memorandum, President Trump stated “[t]hrough force and fraud, the Maduro regime is responsible for the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory.” Venezuela is currently experiencing a disastrous economic crisis that has resulted in a shortage of certain basic necessities such as medicine. Because of the dire country conditions, thousands of Venezuelans are choosing to flee, many seeking safety in the United States.
Currently, Venezuelans do not have to do anything to receive this benefit. Subject to certain exceptions, any Venezuelan citizen present in the United States since January 20, 2021, is eligible for this relief. Eventually, the immigration office (USCIS) should issue instructions for Venezuelans eligible for this benefit on how to apply for the employment authorization that goes along with the grant of DED. To read the memorandum, please visit https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/01/25/2021-01718/deferred-enforced-departure-for-certain-venezuelans
If you believe you may be eligible for this grant of relief for Venezuelans and would like to discuss your options with an immigration attorney, please call our office at (615) 649-0049 or reach out to us via the Cobb Law Group Facebook page or website.
-Savannah Teets Connors
Savannah Teets Connors is currently a third year law student at Belmont Law School in Nashville, TN, and a valuable member of the immigration law team at Cobb Law Group. Savannah hopes to practice immigration law after she graduates and takes the Tennessee Bar Exam.