WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26) issued the following statement after the Trump administration established Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) to Venezuelans national residing in the United States:

“Countless Venezuelans in my district came to our great nation in search of basic human rights and protections from oppression. For them to be returned to Venezuela would be to subject them to even more brutal treatment, condemning them to a life of persecution, stripped from their most basic freedom, and fearing for their life. The decision to provide this protected status allowing thousands of Venezuelans – many in my district – to stay in the United States sends a strong message to the world that the United States will stand up for those persecuted by brutal dictatorships and regimes of oppression.

“The quest for protected status for Venezuelans has been a long time coming. I especially want to thank my friend and colleague Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart for all his work in this space and his unwavering advocacy for the Venezuelan people. This could not have been achieved without Congressman Diaz-Balart championing protected status for Venezuelans over the last several years and consistent engagement with the current administration on this issue.

“I want to thank also our two Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott for being steadfast supporters of the Venezuelan people. I am honored to partner with Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar to continue South Florida’s advocacy for this vibrant and dynamic community. As the incoming Biden administration settles in, we will continue to advocate for the continuation of this critical policy.