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116th Congress     }                                  {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session       }                                  {       116-168

======================================================================



 
                       VENEZUELA TPS ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

 July 23, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Nadler, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 549]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 549) to designate Venezuela under section 244 of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act to permit nationals of 
Venezuela to be eligible for temporary protected status under 
such section, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend 
that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     6
Committee Consideration..........................................     6
Committee Votes..................................................     7
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     9
Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects..........................     9
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     9
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     9
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    15
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................    15
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................    15
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................    15
Additional Views.................................................    16

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all that follows after the enacting clause and insert 
the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Venezuela TPS Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. DESIGNATION FOR PURPOSES OF GRANTING TEMPORARY PROTECTED 
                    STATUS.

  (a) Designation.--
          (1) In general.--For purposes of section 244 of the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a), Venezuela 
        shall be treated as if it had been designated under subsection 
        (b)(1)(C) of that section, subject to the provisions of this 
        section.
          (2) Period of designation.--The initial period of the 
        designation referred to in paragraph (1) shall be for the 18-
        month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this 
        Act.
  (b) Aliens Eligible.--As a result of the designation made under 
subsection (a), an alien who is a national of Venezuela is deemed to 
satisfy the requirements under paragraph (1) of section 244(c) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a(c)), subject to 
paragraph (3) of such section, if the alien--
          (1) has been continuously physically present in the United 
        States since the date of the enactment of this Act;
          (2) is admissible as an immigrant, except as otherwise 
        provided in paragraph (2)(A) of such section, and is not 
        ineligible for temporary protected status under paragraph 
        (2)(B) of such section; and
          (3) registers for temporary protected status in a manner 
        established by the Secretary of Homeland Security.
  (c) Consent to Travel Abroad.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Homeland Security shall 
        give prior consent to travel abroad, in accordance with section 
        244(f)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
        1254a(f)(3)), to an alien who is granted temporary protected 
        status pursuant to the designation made under subsection (a) if 
        the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary of 
        Homeland Security that emergency and extenuating circumstances 
        beyond the control of the alien require the alien to depart for 
        a brief, temporary trip abroad.
          (2) Treatment upon return.--An alien returning to the United 
        States in accordance with an authorization described in 
        paragraph (1) shall be treated as any other returning alien 
        provided temporary protected status under section 244 of the 
        Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1254a).

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 549, the ``Venezuela TPS Act of 2019,'' designates 
Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under section 
244(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1254a(b)) for a period of 18 months beginning on the date 
of the enactment of the Act. Nationals of Venezuela are deemed 
eligible for TPS under H.R. 549 if they: (1) have been 
continuously physically present in the United States since the 
date of enactment; (2); are admissible to the United States and 
not ineligible for TPS as provided in section 244(c)(2) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a(c)(2)); 
and (3) register for TPS in a manner established by the 
Secretary of Homeland Security. H.R. 549 also requires the 
Secretary to give prior consent to travel abroad to individuals 
granted TPS under the Act if emergency and extenuating 
circumstances require a brief, temporary trip abroad.

                Background and Need for the Legislation


                     I. TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS

    The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the 
Secretary of Homeland Security to designate a country for TPS 
if armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary 
circumstances prevent the safe return of its nationals.\1\ Once 
designated, nationals of the country may register for 
permission to live and work lawfully in the United States and 
are protected from removal during the designated period. A 
country may be designated for TPS for an initial period of six 
to 18 months, and the designation may be extended if the 
country continues to experience conditions warranting the 
designation. TPS applicants are subject to most grounds of 
inadmissibility and may not be granted TPS if they have been 
convicted of an inadmissible offense, or any felony or two 
misdemeanors in the United States. Applicants are also 
ineligible if they are deemed a threat to national security or 
have engaged in the persecution of others.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\See generally INA 244; 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254 (2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since 1990, when the TPS provisions were enacted, a total 
of 21 countries (or parts of countries) have been designated 
for TPS. At present, ten countries hold TPS designations: El 
Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South 
Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.\2\An estimated 320,000 
individuals from these ten countries are currently in the 
United States in TPS status.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\See U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Temporary 
Protected Status (identifying countries currently designated for TPS), 
https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-protected-status.
    \3\Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Angie Bautista-Chavez, & Laura Munoz 
Lopez, TPS Holders Are Integral Members of the U.S. Economy and 
Society, Center for American Progress (Oct. 20, 2017), https://
www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/news/2017/10/20/440400/tps-
holders-are-integral-members-of-the-u-s-economy-and-society/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

        II. CONDITIONS IN VENEZUELA WARRANTING A TPS DESIGNATION

A. Economic and political situation

    Much of the political and economic turmoil that is 
unfolding in Venezuela today can be traced back to April 2013, 
when Nicolas Maduro was elected President by a narrow margin 
after the death of Hugo Chavez.\4\ Oil prices crashed shortly 
after the election and Venezuela's economy went into freefall, 
which critics blamed on Maduro and his government.\5\ In the 
years since, hundreds of thousands of anti-government 
protesters have poured into the streets demanding new 
leadership. Support for opposition parties have grown alongside 
the protests, with the opposition gaining a super majority of 
parliamentary seats in the 2015 National Assembly election, the 
first major shift in power since Hugo Chavez took office in 
1999.\6\ Nevertheless, the Maduro regime, supported by the 
military establishment, arrested many opposition leaders in 
March 2017.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Jonathan Watts, Nicolas Maduro Narrowly Wins Venezuelan 
Presidential Election, Associated Press (Apr. 15, 2013), https://
www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/15/nicolas-maduro-wins-venezuelan-
election.
    \5\Zeeshan Aleen, How Venezuela Went from a Rich Democracy to a 
Dictatorship on the Brink of Collapse, Vox (Sep. 19, 2017), https://
www.vox.com/world/2017/9/19/16189742/venezuela-maduro-dictator-chavez-
collapse.
    \6\Brian Walker & Tiffany Ap, Venezuela's Opposition Party Wins 
Parliament in a Blow to Maduro, CNN (Dec. 7, 2015), https://
www.cnn.com/2015/12/07/americas/venezuela-oelections/.
    \7\Diego Ore, Venezuela Arrests Anti-Maduro Politicians in Sweep, 
Reuters (Jan. 12, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-
politics-idUSKBN14W2QP.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In May 2018, opposition parties boycotted the presidential 
election, deeming it fraudulent and corrupt, and Maduro 
ostensibly won the majority of votes.\8\ Most Venezuelans and 
much of the international community considered Maduro's 
reelection illegitimate.\9\ On January 5, 2019, the National 
Assembly elected Juan Guaido of the Political Will party as its 
parliamentary president.\10\ A few days later, Maduro was sworn 
in to a new six-year presidential term.\11\ Violent protests 
and demonstrations escalated, and the government responded in 
force, arresting, teargassing, and beating protestors.\12\ Over 
the course of seven days in January, for example, approximately 
40 Venezuelans were killed and 850 were detained, including 77 
children.\13\ Human rights groups have documented hundreds of 
extrajudicial killings under Maduro's rule.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Zeeshan Aleen, Venezuela just had a Rigged Election. It's One 
Step Closer to Becoming a Failed State, Vox (May 22, 2018), https://
www.vox.com/world/2018/5/22/17379674/venezuela-election-results-maduro-
won-sanctions.
    \9\Clare Ribando Seelke, Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. 
Policy, Cong. Res. Serv. (May 24, 2019), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/
IF10230.pdf.
    \10\Id.
    \11\Id.
    \12\Human Rights Watch, Venezuela: Arrests, Killings in Anti-
Government Protests (Jan. 25, 2019), https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/01/
25/venezuela-arrests-killings-anti-government-protests.
    \13\UN: Nearly 700 Venezuela Arrests in a Day Mark 20-Year High, 
Associated Press (Jan. 29, 2019), https://www.apnews.com/
c904a5b3c1984866a356e55a3993b9e1.
    \14\Amnesty Int'l, Venezuela: Authorities Must Stop Criminalizing 
and Killing Young People Living in Poverty (Sep. 20, 2018), https://
www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/09/venezuela-authorities-must-stop-
criminalizing-and-killing-young-people-living-in-poverty/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In mid-January, Guaido announced that he was willing to 
serve as the interim president until free and fair elections 
could take place, and he took the oath of office on January 23, 
2019.\15\ Almost immediately, more than 50 countries, including 
the United States and most of the European Union, recognized 
Guaido as the legitimate interim president of Venezuela and 
called for speedy new elections.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Ribando Seelke, supra, note 9, at 1.
    \16\More than 50 Countries Support Venezuela's Juan Guaido, Share 
America (Feb. 15, 2019), https://share.america.gov/support-for-
venezuelas-juan-guaido-grows-infographic/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since then, the National Assembly has enacted resolutions 
declaring Maduro's mandate illegitimate, establishing a 
framework for a transition government, and creating a strategy 
for accepting cross-border humanitarian assistance.\17\ As of 
this time, however, no agreement for a peaceful transition of 
power exists between Maduro and Guaido. On February 23, 2019, 
Venezuelan security forces killed four Guaido supporters and 
injured hundreds more when they attempted to bring convoys with 
emergency supplies across the border.\18\ When Guaido and 
Leopoldo Lopez, a former political prisoner and head of the VP 
[what is this?] opposition party, called for a civil-military 
rebellion against the Maduro regime on April 30, 2019, military 
forces violently dismantled the demonstrations, attacking 
journalists in the process and removing several media outlets 
from the air.\19\ In the aftermath, Maduro ordered the arrest 
and torture of individuals perceived to be a threat to the 
government, including military officers and opposition 
politicians.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\Ribando Seelke, supra, note 9, at 1.
    \18\Emma Graham-Harrison and Joe Parkin Daniels, Venezuela: At 
Least Four Dead and Hundreds Injured in Border Standoff, The Guardian 
(Feb. 23, 2019), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/23/
venezuela-border-latest-maduro-guaido.
    \19\Venezuela: Violent Response to Demonstrators, Human Rights 
Watch (May 3, 2019), https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/05/03/venezuela-
violent-response-demonstrators.
    \20\Ribando Seelke, supra, note 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Venezuela's political stalemate is expected to continue, 
with both Guaido and Maduro claiming to be the rightful leader 
of the nation. Many observers regard the military's defection 
from Maduro as key to the transfer of power.\21\ For now, 
however, aside from the former head of the national 
intelligence agency, the military high command appears to 
remain loyal to Maduro.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Id.
    \22\Clare Ribando Seelke, Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. 
Policy, Cong. Res. Serv. (May 3, 2019), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/
IF10230.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Meanwhile, Venezuela's economy continues to plummet, due to 
mismanagement of the country's oil sector, and a dramatic drop 
in oil prices emptying the coffers of the government and 
families alike.\23\ In 2018, inflation in Venezuela stood at 
1.7 million percent.\24\ The International Monetary Fund 
estimates that in 2019, the annual inflation rate will reach 10 
million percent--making basics like milk and bread far too 
expensive for most Venezuelans to afford.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\Id.
    \24\10 Things You Need to Know About Venezuela's Human Rights 
Crisis, Amnesty International (Feb. 18, 2019), https://www.amnesty.org/
en/latest/news/2019/02/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-venezuelas-
human-rights-crisis/.
    \25\World Economic Outlook 2019: Inflation Rate, Average Consumer 
Prices, International Monetary Fund (Apr. 2019), https://www.imf.org/
external/datamapper/[email protected]/WEOWORLD/VEN.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Humanitarian crisis

    Millions of Venezuelans are malnourished and lack access to 
safe water and basic medicine.\26\ In 2017, an estimated 87 
percent of Venezuelans were living in poverty, with seven 
million in need of humanitarian assistance.\27\ Infant and 
maternal mortality rates are increasing, and previously 
eradicated diseases like diphtheria and measles have 
returned.\28\ These challenges go beyond the border and pose a 
threat to the entire region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\Clare Ribando Seelke, Venezuela: Political Crisis and U.S. 
Policy, Cong. Res. Serv. (May 3, 2019), https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/
IF10230.pdf.
    \27\Laura Silver, Courtney Johnson, & Kyle Taylor, Venezuelans Have 
Little Trust in National Government, say Economy is in Poor Shape, Pew 
Research Center (Jan. 25, 2019), https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/
2019/01/25/venezuelans-have-little-trust-in-national-government-say-
economy-is-in-poor-shape/.
    \28\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Since 2015, more than 3.7 million people have fled 
Venezuela, constituting the largest exodus in recent Latin 
American history.\29\ During 2018, an average of 5,500 people 
left the country every day, with the vast majority seeking 
refuge in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.\30\ Venezuelans 
have filed more than 414,000 asylum claims in the region, with 
248,000 filed in 2018 alone.\31\ Neighboring countries have 
provided 1.3 million Venezuelans with residency permits or 
other forms of lawful status that give access to health and 
education, and, in most countries, the right to work.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\Majority Fleeing Venezuela in Need of Refugee Protection--
UNHCR, UNHCR (May 21, 2019), https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/briefing/
2019/5/5ce3bb734/majority-fleeing-venezuela-need-refugee-protection-
unhcr.html.
    \30\Displaced Colombians Open Their Doors to Venezuelan Refugees 
and Migrants, UNHCR (Dec. 14, 2019), https://www.unhcr.org/news/
stories/2018/12/5c12bbae4/displaced-colombians-open-doors-venezuelan-
refugees-migrants.html/.
    \31\Asylum Applications by Venezuelans Soar to Over 400,000, UNHCR 
(Mar. 8, 2019), https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/press/2019/3/
5c826efe2e9/asylum-applications-venezuelans-soar-400000.html.
    \32\Venezuela Situation Update--March 2019, UNHCR (Mar. 12, 2019), 
https://reliefweb.int/report/venezuela-bolivarian-republic/unhcr-
venezuela-situation-update-march-2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A recent report found that if oil prices and oil production 
in Venezuela continue to collapse--which is expected following 
new U.S. sanctions--the crisis could cause the total number of 
refugees and migrants to spike to more than eight million.\33\ 
That would far outnumber the estimated five million refugees 
who left Syria during its civil war and would likely overwhelm 
the region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \33\Dany Bahar and Douglas Barrios, How Many More Migrants and 
Refugees Can We Expect out of Venezuela?, Brookings Institute (Dec. 10, 
2018), https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2018/12/10/how-many-
more-migrants-and-refugees-can-we-expect-out-of-venezuela/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. The Venezuelan-born community in the United States

    In 2017, about 350,000 Venezuelan immigrants lived in the 
United States, with the largest population residing in south 
Florida.\34\ Approximately 50 percent of Venezuelan immigrants 
are English proficient, and 80 percent are of working age.\35\ 
More than half of Venezuelan immigrants are college graduates, 
and the median income of Venezuelan households is $51,900.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\Tim Henderson, Venezuelan Immigrants Get Trump Sympathy but Not 
Status, Pew Charitable Trusts (Oct. 2, 2018), https://
www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/10/02/
venezuelan-immigrants-get-trump-sympathy-but-not-status.
    \35\Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova, South American Immigrants in the 
United States, Migration Policy Institute (Nov. 7, 2018), https://
www.migrationpolicy.org/article/south-american-immigrants-united-
states.
    \36\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For the past three years, Venezuelans have requested asylum 
in higher numbers than any other population in the United 
States, including almost 28,000 new applications in 2018.\37\ 
At the same time, the number of visas issued to Venezuelans is 
plummeting, from almost 240,000 visas granted in fiscal year 
2015 to less than 30,000 granted in fiscal year 2018.\38\ 
Despite the catastrophe unfolding in Venezuela, the United 
States deported more Venezuelans in late 2018 than were 
resettled as refugees over the previous five years.\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\Manuel Madrid, Trump Is Tough on Venezuela--but Won't Let 
Fleeing Venezuelans Into the U.S., The American Prospect (Feb. 12, 
2019), https://prospect.org/article/trump-tough-on-venezuela-wont-let-
fleeing-venezuelans-us.
    \38\U.S. Department of State, FY 2018 Annual Report of the Visa 
Office: Nonimmigrant Visas Issued by Nationality, https://
travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/AnnualReports/
FY2018AnnualReport/FY18AnnualReport%20-%20TableXVIII.pdf.
    \39\Madrid, supra, note 36.
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                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress, the following hearing was used to develop H.R. 
549: ``Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients,'' held before 
the Judiciary Committee on March 6, 2019. Among others, the 
witnesses who testified at the hearing included: Jose Palma, a 
Salvadoran national TPS recipient who is married to another TPS 
recipient, has 4 U.S. citizen children, and serves as the 
National Coordinator of the National TPS Alliance; Donald 
Graham, former owner of The Washington Post and co-founder of 
TheDream.US, which provides scholarships to thousands of highly 
motivated Dreamers and TPS recipients; Catholic Bishop Mario 
Dorsonville, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, 
a naturalized immigrant from Colombia, and the incoming 
Migration Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; 
and Andrew R. Arthur, Resident Fellow at the Center for 
Immigration Studies.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 22, 2019, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill, H.R. 549, favorably reported with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute, by a rollcall vote of 
20 to 9, a quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following rollcall vote occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 549.
    1. The motion to report H.R. 549, as amended, favorably was 
agreed to by a rollcall vote of 20 to 9.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

                Committee Estimate of Budgetary Effects

    In compliance with clause 3(d) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the following statement is made 
concerning the effects on the budget of the bill, H.R. 549, as 
reported. The Committee agrees with the estimate prepared by 
the Congressional Budget Office, which is included below.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its own the 
estimate of new budget authority, entitlement authority, or tax 
expenditures or revenues contained in the cost estimate 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 549, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    The bill would
           Allow Venezuelans in the United States to 
        apply for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 
        months
    Estimated budgetary effects would primarily stem from
           Changes in revenues and outlays for 
        refundable tax credits when individuals who receive TPS 
        become eligible to work legally and receive Social 
        Security numbers
           Subsidies for health insurance purchased 
        through the marketplaces established under the 
        Affordable Care Act by individuals receiving TPS
    Areas of significant uncertainty include
           Estimating the number of Venezuelans who are 
        in the United States in nonimmigrant status or without 
        legal status
           Estimating the number of those Venezuelans 
        who would apply for TPS
           Projecting the employment and tax-paying 
        behavior of those Venezuelans if they did not receive 
        TPS
    Bill summary: H.R. 549 would allow Venezuelans in the 
United States to apply for and receive temporary protected 
status for 18 months. Aliens with TPS may work legally, receive 
Social Security numbers (SSNs), and claim the earned income and 
child tax credits. Additionally, they are eligible for 
subsidies for health insurance purchased through the 
marketplaces established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 
provided that they meet the other eligibility requirements for 
those subsidies.
    Estimated Federal cost: The estimated budgetary effect of 
H.R. 549 is shown in Table 1. The costs of the legislation fall 
within budget functions 550 (health), 600 (income security), 
and 750 (administration of justice).

                                                                        TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 549
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                               By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     2019      2020       2021      2022       2023     2024     2025     2026     2027     2028     2029   2019-2024  2019-2029
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  Increases in Direct Spending
 
Estimated Budget Authority.......................................        0         239      204          63       73       70       69       66       53       51       52        649        940
Estimated Outlays................................................        0         239      204          63       73       70       69       66       53       51       52        649        940
 
                                                                             Increases or Decreases (-) in Revenues
 
Estimated Revenues...............................................        0          35       60          59       54       51       44       35       34       33       32        259        437
On-Budget........................................................        0         -71      -94         -72      -67      -63      -54      -54      -50      -50      -49       -367       -624
Off-Budget.......................................................        0         106      154         131      121      114       98       89       84       83       81        626      1,061
 
                                                   Net Increases or decreases (-) in the Deficit From Changes in Direct Spending and Revenues
 
Effect on the Deficit............................................        0         204      144           4       19       19       25       31       19       18       20        390        503
    On-Budget....................................................        0         310      298         135      140      133      123      120      103      101      101      1,016      1,564
    Off-Budget...................................................        0        -106     -154        -131     -121     -114      -98      -89      -84      -83      -81       -626    -1,061
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sources Congressional Budget Office, staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation.
All off-budget effects would come from changes in Social Security revenues.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
549 will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2020. CBO 
expects that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would 
receive and process TPS applications during the first half of 
fiscal year 2020.
    CBO assumes that under current law, most of the Venezuelan 
nationals who would be affected by the bill will remain in the 
United States, either in legal nonimmigrant status or without 
legal status.\1\ Spending in CBO's baseline reflects the 
expectation that resources available to DHS to remove aliens 
without legal status are constant in inflation-adjusted terms 
over the 2019-2029 period and that DHS's policie--notably it 
enforcement priorities--remain the same over that period.
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    \1\8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15) defines many classes of nonimmigrant aliens 
who are permitted to reside in the United States temporarily and for 
specified purposes. Examples of nonimmigrant classifications include F-
1 students and H-1B temporary workers, named for their authorizing 
provisions, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(F)(i) and 8 U.S.C. 
1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), respectively.
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    CBO anticipates that under H.R. 549, most of the Venezuelan 
nationals who would be affected by the bill would remain in the 
United States after the expiration of the 18-month period of 
temporary protected status. The staff of the Joint Committee on 
Taxation (JCT) expects that some of the individuals who would 
receive TPS would continue to work, pay taxes, and receive tax 
credits after that status expires. Thus, some budgetary effects 
of the bill would continue after that 18-month period.
    The President could extend the TPS designation for 
Venezuela at the end of that 18-month period. The budgetary 
effects of any such decision are not attributable to this 
legislation.
    People affected by the legislation: H.R. 549 would allow 
Venezuelans to receive TPS if they were physically present in 
the United States continuously between enactment of the bill 
and adjudication of their application, if they apply for such 
status, and if they are not inadmissible on certain grounds 
(related to crime and national security). Venezuelans who 
receive TPS would retain it during the 18-month period 
following enactment.
    The actual number of aliens present in the United States at 
any time is not known. The Department of State tracks the visas 
it has issued that allow aliens to travel to a U.S. port of 
entry to seek admission into the country. DHS records aliens' 
admissions into the United States, as well as their departures 
from most air and sea ports of entry. However, DHS generally 
does not collect information about aliens' departures to Mexico 
via land ports of entry. DHS and a variety of immigration 
researchers estimate the number of aliens without legal status 
in the United States using census data and comparing that 
survey information with administrative data.
    On the basis of that research and data, CBO estimates that 
around 300,000 Venezuelans will be in the United States either 
in legal nonimmigrant status or without legal status upon 
enactment. (Venezuelans with lawful permanent resident status 
would have no need to apply for TPS.) CBO estimates that 10,000 
to 20,000 of those Venezuelans would remain in their current 
nonimmigrant status (such as H-1B temporary workers) or would 
acquire another status (such as asylee) during the 18 months 
after enactment and thus also would have no need to apply for 
TPS. Finally, CBO anticipates that about 75 percent of the 
remaining Venezuelans would apply for and be granted TPS. In 
total, about 200,000 people would receive TPS under the bill, 
CBO estimates.
    Direct spending: CBO and JCT estimate that H.R. 549 would 
increase net direct spending for refundable tax credits, for 
health benefits, and for DHS processing costs and collections 
of application fees by $940 million over the 2020-2029 period.
    Refundable tax credits: JCT estimates that H.R. 549 would 
increase outlays for the earned income and child tax credits, 
which are refundable, by about $640 million over the 2020-2029 
period. Refundable tax credits reduce a taxpayer's overall 
income tax liability; if those credits exceed other tax 
liabilities, the taxpayer may receive the excess in a refund. 
Such refunds are classified as outlays in the federal budget.
    JCT estimates that the increase in outlays for refundable 
credits projected for the 2020-2029 period would be mostly 
attributable to earned income tax credits. H.R. 549 would 
increase the number of people with valid SSNs, which taxpayers 
and their dependents must have to qualify for those credits. 
(That effect is also discussed below under the heading 
``Revenues.'')
    Health benefits: People who are lawfully present in the 
United States, including aliens with TPS, generally can receive 
subsidies for health insurance purchased through the 
marketplaces established under the ACA provided that they meet 
other criteria: they cannot have access to affordable health 
insurance coverage through certain other sources and their 
household income must be between 100 percent and 400 percent of 
the federal poverty guidelines. If their income is below 100 
percent of the guidelines, they also must be ineligible for 
Medicaid because of their immigration status.
    CBO and JCT estimate that about 20,000 people who receive 
TPS under H.R. 549 would purchase health insurance through the 
marketplaces in 2020 and would have income that was low enough 
to qualify for the subsidies. That coverage would end when 
their TPS expired during 2021. The agencies estimate that the 
average cost of those subsidies would be about $10,600 per 
person in 2020 and about $11,300 in 2021. In total, those 
subsidies would increase direct spending by $300 million.
    DHS application fees and processing costs: DHS collects 
fees of between $50 and $545 to process an initial application 
for TPS. The fees are classified as offsetting receipts (that 
is, as reductions in direct spending) and are available for 
spending by DHS upon collection under current law. Enacting the 
bill would increase the number of applicants for temporary 
protected status and employment authorization. CBO estimates 
that fee collections also would increase and that additional 
collections and spending would total about $85 million each 
over the 2020-2022 period. Because the collections and spending 
offset, the net effect on direct spending would be 
insignificant.
    Revenues: H.R. 549 would both increase and decrease 
revenues. CBO and JCT estimate that H.R. 549 would increase net 
revenues by about $440 million over the 2020-2029 period. On-
budget revenues would decline by about $620 million, and off-
budget revenues (Social Security payroll taxes) would increase 
by about $1,060 million.
    Higher revenues, according to JCT's estimates, would 
largely stem from increased reporting of employment income by 
people who would gain work authorization and SSNs under the 
bill. Those workers would continue to possess SSNs in their own 
name after TPS expires. Thus, JCT estimates that some of those 
individuals would continue to earn and report income after the 
18-month period of temporary protected status. That increase in 
reported wages would increase revenues, mostly in the form of 
Social Security taxes.
    Slightly more than half of the increase in revenues from 
workers would be offset for two reasons. First, increased 
reporting of employment income would increase tax deductions by 
businesses for labor compensation, including those businesses' 
contributions to payroll taxes. As a result, corporations would 
report lower taxable profits and pay less in income taxes. 
Noncorporate businesses, such as partnerships and sole 
proprietorships, also would report lower taxable income, which 
would decrease individual income taxes paid by their partners 
and owners. (Some of those effects also would persist after the 
18-month period of temporary protected status.)
    Second, CBO and JCT estimate revenues would decrease by $22 
million over the 2020-2022 period because tax credits for 
health insurance purchased through the marketplaces established 
under the ACA would reduce individuals' tax liability.
    Uncertainty: A significant source of uncertainty is the 
number of Venezuelans who are in the United States in 
nonimmigrant status or without legal status. Uncertainty about 
the number of Venezuelans who enter without inspection (that 
is, who cross the border without legal permission), the number 
of Venezuelans who leave the United States to enter Mexico via 
a land port of entry, and the number of Venezuelans who are not 
counted by census surveys could affect CBO's estimate.
    Another source of uncertainty is the number of those 
Venezuelans who would apply for TPS. Some could become eligible 
for other legal immigration statuses--removing the need to 
apply for TPS--at higher or lower rates than CBO estimates. 
Additionally, they could return to Venezuela or depart for 
another country, or otherwise decline to apply for TPS while 
within the United States, at different rates than reflected in 
this estimate.
    The estimated change in revenues and refundable tax credits 
also includes uncertainty about whether affected Venezuelans 
would work without authorization and whether and how they would 
pay taxes--both under current law and after the expiration of 
TPS authorized in the bill. Aliens without work authorization 
might choose to work outside of the tax system, to pay taxes 
under their own previously received SSN, or to pay taxes under 
a false or stolen SSN.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays and revenues that are 
subject to those pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in Table 2. 
Only on-budget changes to outlays or revenues are subject to 
pay-as-you-go procedures.

                                              TABLE 2.--CBO'S ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS OF H.R. 549
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              2019   2020    2021    2022    2023    2024    2025    2026    2027    2028    2029   2019-2024  2019-2029
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Net Increase in the On-Budget Deficit
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Effect.............      0     310     298     135     140     133     123     120     103     101     101     1,016      1,564
Memorandum:
    Changes in Outlays.....................      0     239     204      63      73      70      69      66      53      51      52       649        940
    Changes in Revenues....................      0     -71     -94     -72     -67     -63     -54     -54     -50     -50     -49      -367       -624
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Increase in long-term deficits: None.
    Mandates: None.
    Estimate prepared by: Population: David Rafferty; Federal 
Costs: Kate Fritzsche, Mark Grabowicz, Lisa Ramirez-Branum, and 
the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation; Federal Revenues: 
Kate Fritzsche and the staff of the Joint Committee on 
Taxation; Mandates: Rachel Austin.
    Estimate reviewed by: David Newman, Chief, Defense, 
International Affairs, and Veterans' Affairs Cost Estimates 
Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis; Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 549 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
549 designates Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status under 
section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
1254a) and permits qualified individuals to apply for such 
status.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 549 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Sec. 1. Short title. Section 1 sets forth the short title 
of the bill as the ``Venezuela TPS Act of 2019''.
    Sec. 2. Designation for purposes of granting temporary 
protected status. Section 2(a) designates Venezuela for TPS for 
an initial period of 18 months, beginning on the date of 
enactment of the Act. Section 2(b) states that TPS will be 
available to individuals who:
    (1) are nationals of Venezuela who have been continuously 
physically present in the United States since the date of 
enactment of the Act;
    (2) are admissible and not ineligible for TPS in accordance 
with the TPS eligibility standards (including waivers of 
certain grounds of inadmissibility) described in section 
244(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 
1254a(c)(2)); and
    (3) register for TPS in the manner established by the 
Secretary of Homeland Security.
    Section 2(c)(1) requires the Secretary to provide advance 
consent to travel abroad to individuals granted TPS under the 
Act if there are emergency and extenuating circumstances beyond 
the individual's control that require a brief, temporary trip 
abroad.
    Section 2(c)(2) states that an individual with consent to 
travel abroad shall be treated the same as any other individual 
with TPS upon return.

                            Additional Views

    H.R. 549\1\ statutorily designates Venezuela for Temporary 
Protected Status (``TPS'') under section 244 of the Immigration 
and Nationality Act. Venezuelans present in the United States 
on the date of enactment--regardless of legal status--would be 
eligible to apply for TPS and allowed to stay in the United 
States with employment authorization. The Department of 
Homeland Security ``DHS'') estimates around 270,000 Venezuelans 
currently in the United States would benefit from TPS, 123,000 
of whom are here illegally. Republicans are concerned without 
reforms to the TPS statute, this designation of TPS will not 
truly be ``temporary.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to H.R. 549, 116th Cong. 
(Venezuela TPS Act of 2019).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ordinarily, the Secretary of DHS designates a country for 
TPS if there are circumstances that would prevent the safe 
return of aliens to that country, or if a country is 
temporarily unable to adequately handle the return of its 
nationals.\2\ These conditions include ongoing armed conflict, 
an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic, or other environmental 
disaster.\3\ The effect of a TPS designation is nationals of 
the designated country who are inside the United States on the 
date of such designation, whether legally or illegally, are 
allowed to apply to stay here and receive employment 
authorization.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254(b)(1).
    \3\INA Sec. 244(b)(1)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At least 60 days before the expiration of the TPS 
designation, or any extension thereof, the Secretary, after 
consultations with appropriate agencies of the Government, must 
review the conditions in a foreign state designated for TPS to 
determine whether the conditions for the TPS designation 
continue to be met and, if so, the length of an extension.\4\ 
If the Secretary determines that the foreign state no longer 
meets the conditions for the TPS designation, the Secretary is 
required under law to terminate the designation.\5\ Such 
termination may not take effect ``earlier than 60 days after 
the date the Notice [of termination] is published [in the 
Federal Register] or, if later, the expiration of the most 
recent previous extension . . . .''\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254a(b)(3)(A), (C).
    \5\8 U.S.C. Sec. 1254(b)(3)(B).
    \6\8 U.S.C. Sec. l254a(b)(3)(B)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unfortunately, what was intended by Congress to be a 
temporary protection has, over time, become a permanent, 
automatically renewed status, with some countries being rubber-
stamped for re-designation for decades. For instance, Nicaragua 
was initially designated for TPS in 1999 due to Hurricane Mitch 
which struck the country in October 1998. And El Salvador was 
initially designated in March 2001 based on a series of 
earthquakes.
    Upon review of TPS status for certain countries, DHS has 
indicated it will not renew TPS status for nationals of Sudan, 
Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nepal while extending TPS 
for nationals of Yemen and Somalia.\7\ However, despite 
findings by DHS that the temporary conditions existing at the 
time of the initial designation are no longer in effect, 
multiple nationwide federal court injunctions and stipulations 
have prohibited the DHS from ending TPS for nationals of these 
countries.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\USCIS Website, at https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/temporary-
protected-status
    \8\Ramos, et al v. Nielsen, et al., No. 18-cv-01554 (N.D. Cal. Oct 
3, 2018) (enjoining government from terminating TPS for Sudan, 
Nicaragua, Haiti, and El Salvador); see also CASA de Maryland v. Trump, 
No. 18-cv-00845 (D. Md. Nov. 29, 2018) (Enjoining the government from 
terminating TPS for Salvadorans).; Bhattarai v. Nielsen, No. 19-cv-731 
(N.D. Cal) (Stipulation for Honduras and Nepal to extend TPS while 
appeal is pending in Ramos); Saget v. Trump, No. 18-cv-01599 (E.D.N.Y.) 
(Haiti).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chart 1:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    Republicans would prefer to ensure designations are 
temporary, and the statute is not abused to provide a quasi-
permanent status. Republicans offered an amendment at the 
markup to require congressional approval of future re-
designations of TPS designated countries but withdrew the 
amendment after indications from Democrats it would be found 
not to be germane.
    It should be noted H.R. 549 was considered immediately 
after, and in the same markup as H.R. 2821, in which the 
Democrats voted to give green cards to all current TPS 
recipients and those eligible for TPS under prior designations. 
It would seem the Democrats do not intend this temporary status 
to be temporary.
    In fact, Chairman Nadler stated at the markup for H.R. 
2821, the ``American Promise Act of 2019,'' that ``I should say 
that TPS is a temporary program and when the catastrophe 
abates, if it's after a year or two or three, then it is proper 
to end the TPS and people can go home. But once people, have 
been here for fifteen or twenty years they've laid down roots 
here they've raised families here then to suddenly say they 
have to go home after fifteen or twenty years to go home to 
some place they haven't seen in 15 years . . . that becomes 
cruel.''\9\ Without reforms to the TPS statue to ensure the 
temporary nature, the American people cannot be assured any TPS 
designation is in fact ``temporary.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Statement of Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Markup of H.R. 2821, the 
American Promise Act of 2019, House Judiciary Comm., 116th Cong. May 
22, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ranking Member Collins predicted in his opening remarks 
that without reforms, if H.R. 549 becomes law, future 
administrations will continue rubber stamping TPS re-
designations for Venezuela and a bill will be brought in 20 
years to give green cards for Venezuelans here on TPS. That 
prediction is based on how TPS has been used by administrations 
in the past and on Democrats' own vision of what TPS is--merely 
a path to a green card. Republicans remain concerned without 
such reforms to the TPS statute, H.R. 549 would offer a status 
``temporary'' in name only.

            Sincerely,
                                   Doug Collins,
                                           Ranking Member, House 
                                               Judiciary Committee.

                                  [all]