Florida Democratic Party Chair Terrie Rizzo called out Florida Republicans in Washington, D.C., after the Senate blocked a bill that would help Venezuelans seeking asylum in the U.S.
The Venezuela Temporary Protected Status Act would have immediately given temporary protected status (TPS) to certain eligible Venezuelans fleeing the country plagued by an ongoing economic and political crisis.
Instead, the bill passed the House with the help of Florida leadership, but that's as far as it got.
Rizzo singled out former governor and current Republican senator Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio — both public TPS supporters — in a statement she made Tuesday.
We need to find a solution now to allow TPS for Venezuelans. Every passing day, the situation on the ground grows worse. It's a genocide.— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) July 30, 2019
I’m working across the aisle with my colleagues to find a solution.
Read my statement ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/LVfHC1y2DR
"It is outrageous the way Republicans in the Senate have blocked the TPS for Venezuelans — and even worse, our own Florida Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have not done anything to urge Senator McConnell to bring this bill to the Senate," her statement read. Rubio co-sponsored a Senate version of the bill and tweeted today that "we can’t send people back to a country in which the regime they oppose has already carried out over 7000 extra-judicial murders."
The bill failed due to "procedural objection," tweeted Rubio, who said representatives will continue working on it. Scott expressed similar disappointment, tweeting "We need to find a solution now to allow TPS for Venezuelans. Every passing day, the situation on the ground grows worse. It's a genocide."
Senator Menendez attempting to pass our #TPSforVenezuela on Senate floor. It will unfortunately fail due to procedural objection.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 30, 2019
We will continue working on this. Also just wrapped up another meeting with administration hoping to achieve administrative resolution of this.
Rizzo, apparently, wasn't convinced.
"The real story is that Republicans are paying lip service to the Venezuelan community, and while the time passes, Venezuelan asylum-seekers are being detained and deported from the United States to a precarious situation," she said in a statement. "Venezuelans wish to stay in the United States in safety, but inaction from the Republicans are not allowing them to do that.”
Florida is home to the largest Venezuelan immigrant population in the country, with nearly 200,000 counted in 2017, according to U.S. Census data analyzed by The Pew Charitable Trusts.