FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 8, 2012
Diaz-Balart sends letter to Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano regarding Venezuelan nationals fleeing political persecution
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) sent Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary Janet Napolitano a letter expressing deep concern about the increasing process time for asylum and refugee applications submitted by Venezuelan nationals, along with the alarming number of Venezuelan deportations, fleeing political prosecution.
Excerpts from the letter:
“I write to express my profound concern about the increasing processing times for asylum and refugee applications submitted by Venezuelan nationals, and the alarming deportations of Venezuelan nationals fleeing political persecution. Accordingly, I respectfully request that you review the process by which asylum and refugee applications are processed, and ask that you work to ensure the process is fair, humane, expeditious, and fully consistent with U.S. law.
“As meticulously documented by the U.S. government and respected human rights monitors, politically motivated human rights abuses in Venezuelan are systematically used to punish dissent and silence criticism.
“I am concerned that the recent delays in processing these applications are the unfortunate result of a timid foreign policy that favors placating tyrants over assisting oppressed peoples achieve their democratic aspirations.
“It would be shameful if the Administration allowed its asylum decision, which are purportedly determined by a process untainted by political considerations, to be delayed or denied in order to placate the very tyrant that asylum applicants seek to escape.
“Venezuelan nationals fleeing persecution deserve U.S. protection. They should not wait many months, and sometimes years, for their applications to be processed. These exiles are not permitted to work or travel while their applications are pending, which creates tremendous hardships for them and their families.
To view the full letter, click here.