The Bush administration is going to Congress to get the ability to deport Salvadorans who cross the border illegally, immediately upon capture. Head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, called for an end to a judicial ruling which prevents Salvadorans from being deported without a judicial hearing:
Chertoff on Wednesday said Congress must immediately act to end a decades-old provision that prohibits Salvadorans from being deported.
After four months of inaction in court following the department's filing of a motion to quash the provision, Chertoff said, DHS now is counting on lawmakers. He would like to see legislation passed to eliminate a 1980s injunction preventing deportation of Salvadorans in the United States illegally. The civil war leading to the injunction ended in the early 1990s.
'I believe there ought to be widespread support' on Capitol Hill for the legislation, which is yet to be proposed, Chertoff told reporters. 'I would like to see it passed before the midterm elections... the civil war in El Salvador is over.'
From mid-May to mid-July, more than 3,700 Salvadorans were arrested and released under DHS' old catch-and-release policy. But, with the end that program, Chertoff warned that these illegal immigrants are filling already-crowded detention centers.
Meanwhile the Salvadoran government is making an all out push to get Salvadorans living in the US on Temporary Protected Status to re-register for the program by the September 1 deadline. Less than half of the 225,000 Salvadorans who registered for TPS in 2005 have re-enrolled so far this year. Failure to re-enroll by the deadline exposes those persons to being deported back to El Salvador.