Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Votes To Protect Texas’ Venezuelan Community

Washington, July 25, 2019
(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) voted in favor of H.R. 549, the Venezuela TPS Act of 2019, which permits Venezuelans to qualify for temporary protected status (TPS). The bill passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support 272 to 158.

The TPS program was established in 1990 for nationals in the United States from countries affected by violence or natural disasters. Those granted TPS can remain in the country and work for a limited amount of time. Currently ten countries have TPS designations: Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Nepal, Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

Venezuelans have been the leading nationality requesting asylum in the United States since 2016. The country is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, worsened by the controversial presidential election of a narco-authoritarian dictatorial regime in May of 2018. The country is suffering through massive food and water shortages, frequent nationwide blackouts, and a soaring poverty rate.

“Houston is home to many Venezuelan immigrants and expatriates who are deeply concerned – as am I – about the situation in Venezuela. TPS was created for this very reason, to offer protection to those who cannot remain in their home country,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “That’s why I voted today to grant TPS for Venezuelan nationals. I am proud to see the bill pass, and I hope the Senate does the same.”

Congresswoman Fletcher has been an advocate for the diverse community of immigrants in the Houston area, including the estimated 50,000 Venezuelans. In March, Fletcher voted for H.R. 854, the Humanitarian Assistance to the Venezuelan People Act to provide humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people and was an original co-sponsor of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 to provide legal status for DREAMers and TPS recipients.