Bipartisan push to grant protected status to Venezuelans fails in House

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez

/ CBS News

A last-ditch bipartisan effort to grant undocumented Venezuelans temporary legal status died in the House on Tuesday after it failed to garner enough votes from Republicans, who were wary of creating a new version of an immigration initiative President Trump and hardliners in the administration have sought to wind down.

The legislation — introduced by Florida Reps. Darren Soto, a Democrat, and Mario Díaz-Balart, a Republican — would allow Venezuelans living in the U.S. who have fled the country's repressive government and collapsing economy to qualify for a new Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program.

The bill's supporters pushed to suspend the rules of House and pass the bill before lawmakers left for their August recess. The maneuver, usually reserved for non-controversial bills, required the support of two-thirds of the House, meaning at least 55 Republicans would have needed to break ranks and vote for the measure. The move failed after only 37 Republican lawmakers joined the 230 Democrats voting in favor.

Immigration More

More in Immigration

Soto called on House leadership to bring the measure to the floor for an up-or-down vote before Congress leaves town.

"We cannot stand idly by, or worse, send millions of Venezuelans back to imminent death and danger," Soto said in a statement.

The legislation would make Venezuelans eligible for TPS if they came to the U.S. after early 2013 and have no legal status. A window for new applications would be open for 18 months from the day the bill is signed into law.

Although the administration has touted its tough stance against Maduro's government — and used the country's economic collapse as a way to denounce the pitfalls of socialist governance — it has not supported efforts to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans living in the U.S.

This week, the State Department's special representative to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, told U.S. government-funded Voice of America that there were no current plans for a TPS designation for Venezuela. Citing court decisions blocking the administration from ending TPS programs for several countries in Latin America and Africa, the envoy suggested the administration is wary of making a new designation that it will not be able to end in the future.

For months, the Trump administration has staged a concerted campaign to support the bid of National Assembly President Juan Guaidó to oust Maduro. In addition to being the first government to recognize Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate interim president in late January, the administration has issued sanctions against top officials in the Maduro government and the largest state-owned oil company in the country.

Despite these efforts — and the backing of dozens of governments, particularly in Latin America — Guaidó has failed to convince the Venezuelan military to join him in mounting a significant challenge to Maduro's government, which still enjoys some support in Venezuela, especially in poorer neighborhoods. In late April, Guaidó and his allies tried to organize an uprising, but failed to prompt any major defections among the country's sprawling military structure.

The prolonged political and economic crisis in Venezuela — once considered one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America — has driven more than 4 million people to flee to neighboring South American nations like Colombia and Peru. Some have also arrived in the U.S.

Most have fled because of the country's skyrocketing inflation and its widespread food and medicine shortages. Others have accused Maduro's government of persecuting them for engaging in political dissent. Earlier this month, the United Nations released a withering report in which it detailed thousands of extrajudicial killings as part of an effort by Maduro's administration aimed at "neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing political opponents and people critical of the government."

First published on July 23, 2019 / 8:10 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Push to grant protected status to Venezuelans fails in House

The bill's supporters pushed to suspend the rules of House and pass the bill before lawmakers left for their August recess

10M ago

Equifax paying ex-CEO nearly $20 million in bonuses

Company's $700 million settlement over consumer-data hack didn't stop its former CEO from receiving massive payday

updated 2M ago

How to watch Robert Mueller's congressional testimony

Former special counsel testifies Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about the findings of his nearly two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

25M ago

Trump plan would kick 3 million people off food stamps

Proposed rule would curb states' ability to provide nutrition assistance to many low-income families

47M ago

Videos show NYC cops doused with water, hit with buckets

NYPD Chief Monahan called the incidents "reprehensible," and said his officers deserve respect

updated 34M ago

Push to grant protected status to Venezuelans fails in House

The bill's supporters pushed to suspend the rules of House and pass the bill before lawmakers left for their August recess

10M ago

How to watch Robert Mueller's congressional testimony

Former special counsel testifies Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about the findings of his nearly two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

25M ago

Trump plan would kick 3 million people off food stamps

Proposed rule would curb states' ability to provide nutrition assistance to many low-income families

47M ago

Here's everyone who was charged in the Mueller probe

The Mueller investigation yielded charges against 34 individuals, and seven guilty pleas

1H ago

10 times Trump may have obstructed justice, according to Mueller

Mueller did not come to a conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice in the Russia probe

1H ago

Push to grant protected status to Venezuelans fails in House

The bill's supporters pushed to suspend the rules of House and pass the bill before lawmakers left for their August recess

10M ago

Here's everyone who was charged in the Mueller probe

The Mueller investigation yielded charges against 34 individuals, and seven guilty pleas

1H ago

Thousands of migrant children could be detained indefinitely

"Unfortunately, I have well over 4,000 of those children in my care," Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Jonathan Hayes told CBS News in an exclusive interview

2H ago

Russian LGBTQ activist murdered after alleged death threats

Yelena Grigoryeva's personal details were allegedly listed on a website created to "hunt for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people" in Russia

3H ago

Ivory from hundreds of elephants found in $48M seizure

Almost 9 tons of elephant ivory were discovered by Singapore authorities — their largest seizure to date

3H ago

American Wonders: California's glowing "Field of Light"

More than 58,000 solar-powered spheres now shimmer in Paso Robles' fields

8H ago

R. Kelly's crisis manager resigns

Just hours after appearing only on CBS This Morning, singer R. Kelly’s crisis manager resigned. In a statement to CBS News, Darrell Johnson said he is stepping down for “personal reasons.” He did not elaborate. on Monday, Johnson made headlines when he said he would not leave his daughter alone with anyone accused of being a pedophile. Kelly is charged with sexually abusing women and girls.

8H ago 01:24

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 33 photos

Chelsea Clinton announces birth of 3rd child

"We are overflowing with love and gratitude and can't wait to introduce him to his big sister and brother," said Clinton in a tweet

21H ago

R. Kelly's crisis manager announces he's stepping down

"I step down as crisis manager for personal reasons," Darrell Johnson told CBS News hours after his appearance Monday on "CBS This Morning"

22H ago

Equifax paying ex-CEO nearly $20 million in bonuses

Company's $700 million settlement over consumer-data hack didn't stop its former CEO from receiving massive payday

updated 2M ago

Feds launch antitrust probe of U.S. tech giants

The DOJ is examining leading online platforms—likely Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple—to see if they're monopolies

2H ago

UPS plans to expand drone deliveries

Delivery giant wants FAA permission to fly the unmanned aerial vehicles beyond line of sight, including at night

3H ago

Consumer group wants FTC to probe Amazon over paid reviews

Consumer watchdog urges regulator to examine whether the online retailer failed to disclose paid product plugs

5H ago

Uber tests $25 all-in-one pass for rides, eats, scooters and more

Uber is testing a new kind of subscription that encourages ride-hailing passengers to use its other services, too

6H ago

Cement contributes to global warming, investors warn

Cement, a key ingredient in the world's most popular building material, emits more carbon than all but two countries

4H ago

"Corn sweat" makes heat wave even more dangerous

Late last week, Wisconsin was even more humid than Miami — and experts say corn sweat is to blame

Jul 22

New species of glow-in-the-dark shark identified

The small shark was first captured nearly a decade ago, but researchers recently determined it is a brand new species

Jul 22

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

Jul 21

Extended transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on putting boots on the moon and Mars

The founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the aerospace company's ambitions for flying humans to the moon and Mars, the importance of reusable in rockets, and the inspiration of Douglas Adams

Jul 21

FDA launches TV ads featuring magician to fight teen vaping

The Centers for Disease Control says more than 1 in 5 high school students and nearly 1 in 20 middle school students vape

6H ago

Millions take aspirin for heart health – but many shouldn't

People who take aspirin to prevent a heart attack​ may need to rethink the pill-popping, Harvard researchers report

9H ago

Tainted alcohol suspected of killing at least 19 in Costa Rica

The government has confiscated about 30,000 bottles of alcohol suspected to be poisoned with methanol

Jul 22

Study finds colon cancer rates rising for patients under 50

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S.

Jul 22

Arkansas could go down to one abortion clinic

If the laws aren't blocked, women in Arkansas won't be able to access abortions after 10 weeks into pregnancy beginning this week

Jul 22

Equifax paying ex-CEO nearly $20 million in bonuses

Company's $700 million settlement over consumer-data hack didn't stop its former CEO from receiving massive payday

updated 2M ago

Trump plan would kick 3 million people off food stamps

Proposed rule would curb states' ability to provide nutrition assistance to many low-income families

47M ago

Zion Williamson inks deal with Nike's Jordan brand

"I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family," Williamson said in a statement

1H ago

Feds launch antitrust probe of U.S. tech giants

The DOJ is examining leading online platforms—likely Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple—to see if they're monopolies

2H ago

UPS plans to expand drone deliveries

Delivery giant wants FAA permission to fly the unmanned aerial vehicles beyond line of sight, including at night

3H ago

Videos show NYC cops doused with water, hit with buckets

NYPD Chief Monahan called the incidents "reprehensible," and said his officers deserve respect

updated 34M ago

Teens named as suspects in 2 murders

Two young men previously thought to be missing are now suspects in the double homicide of an American woman and her Australian boyfriend, police in Canada announced Tuesday. The suspects — Byer Schegelsky and Kam McLeod — are also linked to the death of a man found in northern British Columbia.

1H ago 00:31

Russian LGBTQ activist murdered after alleged death threats

Yelena Grigoryeva's personal details were allegedly listed on a website created to "hunt for homosexual, bisexual and transgender people" in Russia

3H ago

Ivory from hundreds of elephants found in $48M seizure

Almost 9 tons of elephant ivory were discovered by Singapore authorities — their largest seizure to date

3H ago

2 missing teens named suspects in double murder

Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are considered "dangerous" and police urged the public to "call 911 immediately" if they spot the pair

4H ago

Chris Kraft, legendary NASA flight director, has died at age 95

Kraft virtually invented the mission control concept behind NASA's greatest space triumphs

22H ago

New satellite factory to focus on space-based internet

"OneWeb is doing for the satellite industry what Henry Ford did for cars," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Jul 22

Pence says moon, not Mars, remains near-term goal for NASA

In an interview on "The Takeout," Vice President Mike Pence reassured the space community with the administration's strong support for a "moon-first" policy

Jul 21

Extended transcript: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on putting boots on the moon and Mars

The founder and CEO of SpaceX discusses the aerospace company's ambitions for flying humans to the moon and Mars, the importance of reusable in rockets, and the inspiration of Douglas Adams

Jul 21

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on the next giant leap for mankind

The aerospace entrepreneur says we are only a few years away from employing reusable rockets to bring people to the moon and Mars, making humans a "multi-planet species"

Jul 21

The Oddities & Curiosities Expo

A traveling exhibition of gothic and occult art, sideshow performers, and bizarre specimens stopped outside Chicago, where CBS News photographer Jake Barlow took in the odd sights

Jul 22 24 photos

New York's Central Park

America's first major landscaped public park, the 840-acre park in Manhattan welcomes more than 37 million visitors every year

Jul 21 25 photos

Manson Family murders: The terrifying story in pictures

A look at the cult slayings that shocked – and scared – America

Jul 3 44 photos

New on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon

Shows and movies you'll want to stream soon

Jun 24 33 photos

Evidence photos from the police shooting of Danroy "DJ" Henry Jr.

Evidence from the scene of Pace University student DJ Henry’s fatal encounter with Officer Aaron Hess in Mount Pleasant, N.Y.

Jun 22 19 photos

Popular

Body cam video captures murder-for-hire suspect's arrest

On July 23, 2015, detectives with the Montgomery County Texas Constable's Office arrive at the Houston gym owned by Ramon Sosa and his wife, Lulu, to arrest Lulu on suspicion of plotting her husband's death.

Jul 20 03:29

Cell phone video shows aftermath of DJ Henry shooting

Video from Robert Coulombe who attended Pace University with DJ Henry shows the scene at a Westchester, N.Y., strip mall minutes after DJ was shot in his car by Officer Aaron Hess in October 2010.

Jun 22 00:37

Sneak peek: Hollywood Horror Story

A wealthy Hollywood producer is accused of murdering his girlfriend. Was he following the plot of his frightening novel? Correspondent Maureen Maher investigates Saturday, July 13 at 10/9c on CBS.

Jul 13 03:37

A mother's desperate 911 call

When Olga Kasian did not hear from her daughter Iana after several days, she began repeatedly calling 911. Concerned about Iana's well-being and her recent C-section, Kasian desperately asks police — through the help of an Russian interpreter — to enter the home her daughter shared with boyfriend Blake Leibel.

Jul 20 01:14

#BlazeItForward: Murder victim remembered for his generosity and spirit

Close friends of the slain college sophomore share stories about the chef, writer and aspiring doctor who left their lives too soon.

Jul 20 02:27