Just hours before leaving office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order preventing the deportation of Venezuelan nationals for 18 months. The president cited the violence in Venezuela under dictator Nicolas Maduro.
"The autocratic government of Nicolas Maduro has consistently violated the sovereign freedoms possessed by the Venezuelan people. Through force and fraud, the Maduro regime is responsible for the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory," the memo to the secretary of state and secretary of homeland security stated. "A catastrophic economic crisis and shortages of basic goods and medicine have forced about five million Venezuelans to flee the country, often under dangerous conditions."
"The deteriorative condition within Venezuela, which presents an ongoing national security threat to the safety and well-being of the American people, warrants the deferral of the removal of Venezuelan nationals who are present in the United States," the executive order stated.
In order to defer a Venezuelan's deportation, the illegal alien must be present in the United States on Jan. 20, 2020 except those who:
(1) have voluntarily returned to Venezuela or their country of last habitual residence outside the United States;
(2) have not continuously resided in the United States since January 20, 2021;
(3) are inadmissible under section 212(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(3)) or removable under section 237(a)(4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(4));
(4) who have been convicted of any felony or 2 or more misdemeanors committed in the United States, or who meet the criteria set forth in section 208(b)(2)(A) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(2)(A));
(5) who were deported, excluded, or removed, prior to January 20, 2021;
(6) who are subject to extradition;
(7) whose presence in the United States the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined is not in the interest of the United States or presents a danger to public safety; or
(8) whose presence in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.