Why did Mayorkas expand temporary protected status to 714,700 Venezuelans?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas has granted an 18-month extension of Venezuela’s 2021 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for 242,700 Venezuelans who already had TPS. He also redesignated Venezuela to make TPS available to approximately 472,000 more Venezuelans who have been residing in the United States continuously since July 31, 2023.

The new designation period will begin on Oct. 3, 2023, and end on April 2, 2025. This means that Venezuelans who came here after the March 9, 2021, continuous presence deadline for the 2021 designation and remained here unlawfully until July 31, 2023, will be able to get TPS now.

According to Mayorkas, the extension and the redesignation are warranted because of Venezuela’s increased instability and lack of safety due to enduring humanitarian, security, political and environmental conditions.

But apparently this is not the only reason.

A source familiar with how the designation decisions were made told NBC News that they were made after intense pressure from New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other New Yorkers. They wanted the federal government to grant work authorizations to the 60,000 migrants living in the city’s shelter system so they will not need to stay in city shelters.

A recent survey indicates that 65 percent of them are Venezuelans.

Most of them are asylum seekers; and asylum rules require migrants to wait about six months before they can apply for a work permit.

Adams claims that this situation will destroy New York. “We have a $12 billion deficit that we’re going to have to cut — every service in this city is going to be impacted.”

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Published originally on The Hill.

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him at: https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com