VOA news on January 17, 2019:
Amid a deepening crisis and mass exodus from Venezuela, bipartisan legislation was unveiled Thursday to provide temporary protected status (TPS) to Venezuelan nationals in the United States.
The Venezuela TPS Act of 2019, introduced by U.S. Representatives Darren Soto (D-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), cites "an unprecedented economic, humanitarian, security, and refugee crisis."
TPS designation is granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to citizens of certain countries suffering from ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or "other extraordinary and temporary conditions."
TPS was established by the U.S. Congress in 1990 as a protective immigration status accorded to foreign nationals from countries affected by conflict, natural disaster or other extraordinary conditions that make safe return to their home countries impossible, including when a country cannot accept the return of its nationals.
DHS is required to extend or terminate TPS country designations 60 days before the status expires. In the event TPS is extended, DHS will also determine whether or not to re-designate it, so that individuals who arrived after the prior designation date may also be eligible to apply for the status. When TPS is extended for a country, nationals with TPS must re-register for the status.
TPS has historically been extended and re-designated in accordance with the law under both Republican and Democratic administrations alike — until now.
So, this is somewhat confusing to me: the DHS clearly has power to redesignate, but does DHS have the power to designate for TPS a new country by themselves? If not, who can do that, only Congress? Or is Congress trying to force the hands of the administration with the Venezuelan business?