Olga Byrne, IRC’s Senior Director of Asylum and Legal Protection for Resettlement, Asylum, and Integration (RAI) stated, “The Biden Administration’s decision to extend and redesignate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela will positively impact the lives of nearly 500,000 of eligible Venezuelans who are unable to return home safely. This extension and redesignation will allow Venezuelans the opportunity to work, rebuild their lives, and contribute to their new communities – something we know our clients strive for. 

“The enduring humanitarian deterioration in Venezuela reverberates across the region, particularly in neighboring countries that are considered low- and middle-income states and are not fully equipped to support large refugee populations. Yet, these countries have nonetheless extended profound support to the millions of Venezuelans who have left their home. In the case of Colombia for example, nearly 1.7 million Venezuelans have been granted Temporary Protection permits through a regularization process that would entitle them to migratory status through 2031. We encourage the Biden Administration to continue providing alternative pathways to protection and expand TPS for others who cannot return to their home countries due to safety concerns.

The IRC has been working with civil society and government partners to develop approaches to humanitarian reception of asylum seekers that are tailored to local context, inform the establishment of minimum standards, and contribute to national coordination. Our partners in local communities have shown they are ready to welcome asylum-seekers. We can and must build on that community-based goodwill to establish a better system.”