On January 19, 2021, just before the end of his term, President Donald Trump issued a memorandum granting Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for certain Venezuelans for a period of eighteen months. DED is a humanitarian grant of protection for individuals who cannot return to their home country. DED beneficiaries are not subject to removal during the designated time period and, in this case, will be eligible to request employment authorization. DED is discretionary and granted on the basis of the President’s constitutional power to conduct foreign relations.

The memo granting Venezuelan DED references the violations of sovereign freedoms in Venezuela and the “catastrophic economic crisis and shortages of basic goods and medicine” that has forced thousands of Venezuelans to flee their home country. It is estimated that there are approximately 200,000 Venezuelans (many of whom have U.S. citizen children and half of whom are living in Florida) who will benefit from this grant of DED. The benefit will only apply to otherwise eligible individuals who were physically present in the United States on January 20, 2021 (the day after the memorandum was issued). While DED is conferred automatically, USCIS has not yet issued instructions on how to apply for employment authorization corresponding with this benefit.

In the meantime, a bipartisan group of representatives and senators have introduced a bill to provide Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible Venezuelans. TPS is similar to DED but is granted either by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Congress through legislation. A grant through legislation would provide a more secure benefit for the eligible Venezuelans. In addition, at this time, the Biden-Harris Administration has introduced the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 which, if passed, could provide a path to citizenship for TPS beneficiaries.

If you have any questions about Venezuelan DED or TPS, please reach out to your Jackson Lewis attorney. We will provide updates as they become available.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.