According to the White House, starting March 8, the US will offer temporary legal protection to an estimated 320,000 Venezuelans who came to the US after fleeing their country because of the economic and political situation.

Venezuelans currently residing in the US will be able to apply for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This category is typically conferred to citizens of countries suffering from natural disasters, armed conflict, or other extraordinary circumstances. 

For the next 18 months, all Venezuelan citizens who pass security and background checks will be able to continue living in the US free of fear of deportation, and they will be able to apply for work authorizations. Any Venezuelan citizen who arrived after March 8, however, will not be eligible to apply for TPS. 

It is however not clear yet whether the current administration will evaluate whether to renew their TPS status after the 18-month period, or how it will eventually determine when it is safe for them to return to their home country. The administration stated that the protections are intended to be temporary — even though many TPS recipients from other countries have been allowed to remain in the US for decades.

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