Article by Matthew Ferreira, Standard-Times

NEW BEDFORD — Since President Joe Biden signed an order that created new means for people of Nicaragua, Venezuela, Haiti and Cuba to temporarily enter and work in the U.S., the Immigrants’ Assistance Center in New Bedford has fielded a fair number of calls seeking information, IAC President Helena DaSilva Hughes says.

“There have maybe been some about Cuba but the calls have been mostly about Venezuela and Nicaragua,” she said, estimating she’s personally taken about 25 calls relative to the new rules since the Department of Homeland Security announced the order on Jan. 5. “The reason these countries are eligible for this is because of their political turmoil.”

The order, which went into effect Jan. 6, allows for people of the affected countries to enter the U.S. for a period of two years under temporary protected status, or TPS, also known as advance parole. As DaSilva Hughes explained, this requires a person already living in the U.S. to apply to become a sponsor to those looking to enter the country. Once here, those under TPS are to live with and essentially be supported by those sponsors.