One Million Venezuelan Migrants Offered Protection by Colombia

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Nearly one million Venezuelans residing in Colombia will be offered legal status that will allow them to work formally and access public services.

The so-called Temporary Protected Status will allow the majority of the 1.7 million Venezuelan migrants who are in Colombia without permission to legalize their position for ten years.

“We have close to 1 million migrants that are in our country, that live in Colombia, and we don’t know their names, where they are, how old they are, or what their social-economic situation is,” President Ivan Duque said, speaking alongside Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The “massive arrival” of undocumented Venezuelans is distorting the labor market and reducing their ability to contribute to the economy or pay taxes, the presidency said in a statement.

Venezuelans who are already in the country legally don’t have to apply for the new status, Duque said.

The collapse of the Venezuelan economy in recent years has led more than five million people to flee from hunger and chaos back home.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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