LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The current economic collapse and political chaos in Venezuela hits close to home for many Venezuelans living in Las Vegas.
One of them is Zoraida Caldera. She is an immigration activist.
"The minimum salary in a month is good enough to buy you a dozen of eggs," said Caldera.
Caldera blames the current plight on the Venezuelan government.
"People that are running the country right now are a communist group of people. It's a narco-regime, corrupted, and they have ruined the richest nation in South America," said Caldera.
Caldera told 13 Action News the consequences for those who oppose can be deadly.
"It's a guarantee they are going to kill us. Because they do kill, they go after and do persecute whoever is against the government," Caldera said.
According to the UN, more than 3 million Venezuelans fled the country since 2015.
Senators Marco Rubio, Dick Durbin, and others introduced a bipartisan bill that would grant protection for eligible Venezuelans in the United States.
Temporary Protected Status is when the US protects people fleeing political disasters. Francis Garcia is from Honduras; she’s had TPS for more than a decade.
"The reasons that we leave our countries is because we are afraid to live there. It's not only because it’s poor but also the condition," Garcia said.
As senators and locals hope for a change, Caldera worries the wrong people will be protected.
"They have to investigate who is applying for the TPS and what connections they had with the government,” Caldera said.
The proposal to protect Venezuelans in the US will likely to be introduced again in 2019.