Trump orders 18-month halt to removal of Venezuelans from the U.S.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a halt to removal of certain Venezuelans from the United States for 18 months, citing conditions in the South American country.

"The deteriorative condition within Venezuela, which presents an ongoing national security threat to the safety and well-being of the American people, warrants the deferral of the removal of Venezuelan nationals who are present in the United States," Trump, on the eve of leaving the White House, said in a memo to secretaries of state and homeland security.

Some Venezuelans, including those who have committed a felony, are exempted from the order.

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