WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ranking Member of the Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Subcommittee, released the following statement in reaction to new actions announced by the Biden administration on immigration and Temporary Protected Status (TPS):
“I am thrilled the administration took the important step of redesignating and extending TPS for Venezuela. Venezuelans have been suffering under political repression and Trump-era, broad-based economic sanctions. The problems that existed when Venezuela was first designated for TPS in 2021 remain constant today. Extending and redesignating TPS for Venezuela will grant security and stability to Venezuelans in the United States and allow them to work and give back to the communities that they live in.
“The improvements to Employment Authorization Document processing are also extremely welcome news. Cutting down processing times and making certain work authorizations valid for up to five years will improve efficiency at US Citizenship and Immigration Services and help workers and employers alike.
“The Administration is doing exactly the right thing by continuing to expand legal pathways for people to come into the country and allowing them to live full lives, and I thank them for their commitment to this approach.
“However, I am concerned by the Administration’s expansion of the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program nationwide. We have received concerning reports that families enrolled in FERM are experiencing issues accessing necessary resources, including legal counsel and interpreters.
“I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to expand lawful pathways and address concerns related to access to counsel and due process. But we should never forget that it is Republicans that have continually blocked any meaningful and humane reforms to our immigration system, and continue to simply use immigrants as a political football rather than trying to fix the system. Democrats will continue to push for those common-sense solutions that lift up the essential contributions of immigrants to our country.”