Carlos A. Rosales, special secretary to president Tony Saca has an opinion piece in today's Miami Herald. He tries to argue that Adrian is another reason why the US Congress should pass CAFTA:
Even though Hurricane Adrian weakened as it raced across Central America, more than 30,000 Salvadorans had to be evacuated. Still, two deaths were reported in Guatemala and one in Nicaragua. It is still too early to know what the toll on infrastructure and agricultural output will be in all three countries. But it is fair to assume that it will add even greater pressure on the already strained social and economic fabric of the region. Poverty levels could increase and disease spread.
This situation may inspire thousands, if not tens of thousands of Salvadorans, in particular, to head north, as many of their compatriots did on the heels of the destruction brought on by war and previous natural disasters. The effects of Adrian could trigger a new diaspora, unless CAFTA and more benign U.S. immigration policy toward El Salvador bring quick relief.
To be able to rise again from extreme adversity, El Salvador needs the immediate approval of CAFTA. It also is working together with U.S. officials to find a formula that would normalize the immigration status of Salvadorans who have migrated to the United States.
This is laughable. Poor Salvadorans will continue to try to emigrate to the United States, but it has nothing to do with the underwhelming impact of Adrian. US immigration policy should be rationalized, but not as a form of relief for natural disasters. El Salvador is plagued by the ills of poverty and disease, but no quick fix will come with passage of CAFTA.