Several member of the Congress in Florida have proposed a bill which would allow Venezuelans who arrived in the United States before 2013 to become permanent residents. According to the bill’s sponsors, these immigrants can’t return to their home country because of fear of persecution.
Thousands of Venezuelans from South Florida and other states would benefit from the new legislation. Eligible Venezuelans would have until 2019 to apply for permanent residence and have their immigration status adjusted. Those who have a criminal record or who took part in acts of any kind of persecution in Venezuela would not be considered eligible.
Statistics show that the percentage of Venezuelans living in Florida has increased by 250 percent from 2000 to 2013, a period of unrest for the South American country. More than 80.000 people with Venezuelan ancestry live in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, for example. Some of them are living illegally while others are legal immigrants and even U.S. citizens.
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