Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker praises Biden for granting employment authorization to Venezuelan migrants who arrived before August
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*** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker praises Biden for granting employment authorization to Venezuelan migrants who arrived before August

Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Click here for a Biden administration fact sheet. Homeland Security press release excerpt

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today announced the extension and redesignation of Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela that prevent individuals from safely returning.

After reviewing the country conditions in Venezuela and consulting with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas determined that an 18-month TPS extension and redesignation are warranted based on Venezuela’s increased instability and lack of safety due to the enduring humanitarian, security, political, and environmental conditions. This redesignation provides temporary protection from removal, as well as employment authorization for individuals in the United States before July 31, 2023.

“Temporary protected status provides individuals already present in the United States with protection from removal when the conditions in their home country prevent their safe return,” said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “That is the situation that Venezuelans who arrived here on or before July 31 of this year find themselves in. We are accordingly granting them the protection that the law provides. However, it is critical that Venezuelans understand that those who have arrived here after July 31, 2023 are not eligible for such protection, and instead will be removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay.

Above my pay grade about what’ll happen to anyone who got here starting in August. I’ll update tomorrow.

* Gov. Pritzker…

Governor Pritzker issued the following statement after the announcement that President Biden and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will expand temporary protections, including work permits, to thousands of recent asylum seekers in Illinois and across the country:

“Since day one of this humanitarian crisis, I have heard one thing from migrant families and their advocates— they want to build better lives and work. I’m very pleased that President Biden has listened to my concerns and those of other governors and political leaders and expanded Temporary Protected Status to migrants from Venezuela, thousands of whom have been sent to Illinois over the last year. Despite traveling thousands of treacherous miles and then being used as political chess pieces by those who should have welcomed and helped them, they are eager to contribute to their new communities and get to work. Reducing wait times for employment approvals and expanding protection status for those coming from Venezuela will get people working and on a path to building a better future for themselves and their families. In Illinois, we’re facing worker shortages in critical industries like hospitality, food processing, health care, and transportation, and these additional workers will help relieve those shortages and the burden they place on employers. My administration will continue to work with the Biden administration and the Department of Homeland Security to address the ongoing influx of asylum seekers with care, compassion, and practicality as this crisis evolves.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Tribune

Around July 31, there were at least 4,000 Venezuelans counted in the city’s census of migrant shelter population and those still awaiting placement, according to city data, but that does not account for those who exited the shelter system. […]

Those who arrived after July 31 will not be eligible; in Chicago, city records show at least 2,500 new arrivals have come since that date, though not all of them are Venezuelans.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Missed this last night from Mayor Johnson…

“As we reach a critical point in our mission to receive new arrivals and put them on a path to resettlement, the action taken today by President Biden and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to expand the Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan immigrants comes at a welcome time for our city and our country.

“On the heels of a Washington D.C. visit from our Deputy Mayor for Immigrant, Migrant and Refugee Rights, Beatriz Ponce de Leon, we applaud this decision to provide thousands of new arrivals to Chicago the opportunity to work, support themselves and their families, and build community. This action demonstrates how intergovernmental coordination across national, state and local governments continues to make our city a safe sanctuary to all people.

“This is also an important step in protecting individuals who seek work without fear of exploitation, wage theft and trafficking. Without legal work authorization, new arrivals seeking employment are at greater risk for mistreatment. But where there are labor shortages in our city, especially in the fields of food processing, clean energy, health care (including nursing and dentistry), transportation and warehousing, it is clear that authorizing new arrivals for work in these sectors would have a significant public benefit – both to our local and regional economies, and to the families and individuals who are new arrivals to our great city.

“My administration will continue seeking ways to partner with City, County and State agencies to garner more resources, improve our capacity, expand our operations and influence policy change at the federal level. We will advocate for all Chicagoans, and look forward to more effective collaboration that yields results and creative pathways to shelter and resettle our growing immigrant, refugee and migrant population.”


  1. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Sep 20, 23 @ 9:29 pm:

    ===Above my pay grade about what’ll happen to anyone who got here starting in August. I’ll update tomorrow.===

    They’re not eligible for TPS and have to wait the 6 months from submitting the asylum application for work authorization.

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Sep 21, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    ==Those who arrived after July 31 will not be eligible; in Chicago, city records show at least 2,500 new arrivals have come since that date, though not all of them are Venezuelans.==

    Not quite. Those who arrived in the U.S. after July 31 are not eligible. When they arrived in Chicago is irrelevant.

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