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Biden administration expands TPS for Afghans, Venezuelans already in the U.S.

The Biden administration is expanding Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for Afghans and Venezuelans. 

TPS is given to nationals from countries deemed too dangerous to return to — due to national disaster, conflict or civil unrest.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the status would be extended for Venezuelans because of humanitarian, security, political and environmental conditions in the country. 

Those already in the U.S. can stay for another 18 months with temporary protection from deportation and a work permit.

The move comes amid calls from Democratic lawmakers around the country — who say migrants awaiting court hearings should be allowed to work right away. 

TPS was also extended for Afghans in the U.S. Existing beneficiaries can re-apply and those without the status can submit new requests.

Tens of thousands of Afghans were evacuated from their country in 2021 and entered the U.S. on temporary immigration statuses. Many are still in legal limbo.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.