The Pros And Cons Of TPS For Venezuelans
The Department of State has been considering granting Venezuelans Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Before making the decision, the White House should consider several points.
On the one hand, the socialist authoritarian regime of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro has driven Venezuela into the ditch. Hungry and impoverished, the people of Venezuela have been suffering and many went out
On the other hand, granting TPS is problematic for several reasons. To begin with, as the economist Milton Friedman once noted, “nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.” What guarantees do we have that TPS for Venezuelan nationals will not be abused and extended for almost two decades, as it was in the case of Salvadorans?
Furthermore, granting TPS to Venezuelan citizens will likely spur mass migration from that country to the United States. Most would probably undertake the long land route northwest across the entire length of Central America and Mexico. This poses a hazard to the potential migrants themselves.
Third, while the granting of TPS to Venezuelans seems humane and legitimate given the conditions in the country, it may also ultimately harm the Bolivarian Republic by delaying the restoration of freedom and democracy. In fact, if thousands (or perhaps tens of thousands) of Venezuelans leave the country, this will likely ease some of the popular pressure on the despotic neo-communist Maduro regime. After all, corrupt leaders throughout Latin America have been using mass emigration as a safety valve to defuse social discontent and maintain their power and wealth.
Thus, while Americans are right to sympathize with and support the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuelans, we should focus on policies that will promote freedom and prosperity in that country. If the US government does indeed decide to extend TPS to Venezuelan nationals, it must ensure that the status truly is temporary, rather than serving as a de facto amnesty. Otherwise, TPS risks losing all credibility in the eyes of American citizens.