The House of Representatives blocked passage of H.R. 549 -- a bill to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to illegal aliens from Venezuela -- on Tuesday. House Leadership attempted to pass the bill under suspension of the rules, meaning it would bypass regular House order. But to do so, the bill would need to receive support from at least two-thirds of the House. While the bill received more votes than a simple majority, 268-to-154, it fell short of the two-thirds threshold.
NumbersUSA sent a scoring notice to House offices, urging a no vote on H.R. 549. We also posted call requests on the Action Board with instructions for activists to call their U.S. Representatives and urge a no vote.
If passed, the bill would grant TPS status to citizens from Venezuela, including those that are in the United States illegally. To be eligible, Venezuelans would have to be present prior to enactment of the bill, which means that any Venezuelan who could get into the U.S. before passage by both chambers of Congress and before getting signed into law by Pres. Trump would be eligible for the "temporary" amnesty. The bill would have encouraged the more than 30 million Venezuelan citizens to storm the U.S.-Mexico border in the midst of a massive humanitarian and national security crisis.
TPS recipients receive protection from deportation, a work permit, and the freedom to travel in and out of the country. The bill would have extended those same benefits to citizens from Venezuela without any reforms to the TPS program. TPS has been abused since its inception in 1990. It has failed as a "temporary" program and has essentially given amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens over the years.
Furthermore, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement records, Venezuelans living in the U.S. illegally face little chance of removal. In 2017 and 2018, only 584 Venezuelans were removed despite more than 67,000 overstaying a visa over the two years.
The vote on the motion to pass the bill under suspension of the rules was split down party lines. All Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, while only 37 Republicans, plus Independent Congressman Justin Amash. You can view the roll call vote here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2019/roll498.xml
Updated: Wed, Aug 7th 2019 @ 9:30am EDT