Trump orders 18-month halt to removal of Venezuelans from the U.S

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 worsening condition in Venezuela, which poses an ongoing national security threat to the safety and well-being of the American people, justifies postponing 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 at the end of October that he would "immediately" grant 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.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham, Ted Hesson and Kristina Cooke; Editing by Himani Sarkar & Shri Navaratnam)
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