Trump orders an 18-month suspension of the deportation of Venezuelans from the US by Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump delivers a speech at his Las Vegas hotel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump suspended the deportation of certain Venezuelans from the United States for 18 months on Tuesday, citing conditions in the South American country.

“The deteriorating condition in Venezuela, which poses an ongoing national security threat to the safety and well-being of the American people, justifies the postponement of the removal of Venezuelan nationals present in the United States,” Trump said on the eve of leaving the White House, said in a memo to the Secretaries of State and Internal Security.

Some Venezuelans, including those who have committed a crime, are exempt from the order.

US President-elect Joe Biden said in late October that he would “immediately” provide humanitarian protection to Venezuelans living in the US so that they can stay in the country and obtain work permits.

The Pew Research Center think tank estimated that 130,000 Venezuelans were living illegally in the United States in 2017.

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