Advocates say Temporary Protected Status Program benefits Utah

Sep 21, 2023, 2:29 PM | Updated: 3:25 pm

An activist marches during a rally for migrant rights on International Workers Day, May 01, 2023 in Washington, DC. The group is asking President Biden to grant temporary protected status to migrants from Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador allowing them to stay in the United States. This week the Biden Administration granted the extension, which advocates say will benefit Utah. (Kevin Dietsch, Getty Images)

(Kevin Dietsch, Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Biden Administration has redesignated the Temporary Protected Status program which affects nearly half a million Venezuelan migrants in the United States and hundreds of migrants in Utah.

According to the American Immigration Council, the program provides a work permit and will prevent foreign nationals in the United States from being deported.  

And while it is a relief and benefit to many individuals in Utah, immigration lawyer Carlos Trujillo said the entire state will benefit from the redesignation.

“This is going to make a really positive impact on the economy,” Trujillo said. “A lot of people will be able to work, and also, a lot of people will be paying taxes, all these people will be able to rent better places. They may qualify, in a year or two, to buy houses.”

Members of the Utah community will also benefit from an extended Temporary Protected Status.


“There is actually a lot of doctor(s), nurses, attorneys, among other professions,” among the Venezuelan immigrants in Utah, he said. 

The Director of Migration and Catholic Community Services, Aden Batar, said the move provides breathing room for service providers and asylum seekers while Congress works out a more permanent solution.

“As we know, our asylum system is packed,” Batar said. “People have to wait years and years before they can get (here). In the meantime, how can people survive?  I think this is a temporary fix on the issue while the debate on immigration continues.”

Batar said the Biden administration’s decision will help people meet their basic needs.

“I think its important that people get employment authorization while they’re waiting so they can support their families.

In 2018, inflation in Venezuela was astronomical, and medicines, even basic necessities, were unavailable. This has led to nearly 7 million people leaving Venezuela and seeking asylum in more stable countries like the United States.

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Advocates say Temporary Protected Status Program benefits Utah