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Miami U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia: Aid Venezuelans who fled Hugo Chávez

Cuban-American U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Miami, announced Monday that when the immigration reform debate begins in the House he will present an amendment that would grant permanent residence to tens of thousands of undocumented Venezuelans living in the United States.

“Many of these people have spent a big part of their lives here,” Garcia said at a press conference at his office in west Miami-Dade County. “Many are people who attend schools with our children, who are business partners with us and who live in a very difficult status and we want to give them a forward solution.”

Garcia’s Venezuelan Liberty Act is a response to requests from leaders of the growing Venezuelan community nationwide to provide immigration relief to undocumented Venezuelans, many of whom not only lack immigration papers but also fear they will be persecuted and tortured if they are sent back to their country.

Garcia’s proposal is the first concrete action in the form of a bill that would benefit Venezuelan immigrants who are in the country illegally and do not have a police record. If the proposal were to become law, it would grant green cards to Venezuelans who have arrived in the U.S. from Feb. 2, 1999, when Hugo Chávez took office as president of Venezuela, until now, according to an explanatory sheet from Garcia’s office.


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Don't go back. Chavez was great President and you are one of the rich people who don't care about the struggles of poor. You don't belong anymore. You belong with the tea party group!


I have an even better idea: go back where you belong. The boogieman is dead. Go fix your own country before you pollute ours with further lawbreaking and sense of entitlement and scamming.


I agree with Maritza. It is wrong to reward people for breaking our immigration laws and will only exacerbate the problem because such action will likely encourage more illegals to enter America.

In addition, what makes you or anyone else believe that these people will make good citizens when they have already shown disrespect for, and a willingness to break our immigration laws?

All of this is convoluted logic at its best and clearly a tactic to gain more votes for Democrats at election time so that they can retain power.

Jessica G.

Wow. I'm speechless about these comments. I was compelled to write a comment about the importance of a booming community, such as Venezuelans, who have invested a lot in our city. It makes business sense. The community are lawyers and entrepreneurs, investors and real estate developers. They're middle class and contribute to the welfare and economic development of this city, just as much as any other middle class member.

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