The US Customs and Immigration Service announced that TPS -- Temporary Protected Status -- has been extended again for Salvadorans:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of El Salvador through Sep. 9, 2010. The extension will make those who have already been granted TPS eligible to reregister and maintain their status for an additional 18 months. There are approximately 229,000 nationals of El Salvador (and people having no nationality who last habitually resided in El Salvador) who are eligible for reregistration. TPS does not apply to Salvadoran nationals who entered the United States after Feb. 13, 2001.
The program is a humanitarian measure based on a policy decision not to return people to a country suffering from natural disasters. For Salvadorans, TPS only applies to Salvadorans in the US as of the time of the 2001 earthquakes who obtain the necessary registration. The purported justification for the extension is that El Salvador still has not recovered from the earthquakes 7 years ago, but has more to do with regional politics and the practical problems of saying 200,000 people should now be immediately deported.
Although the termination of TPS has been rumored for years, the continuation of exemption from deportation for 229,000 Salvadorans has been an ongoing symbol of the relationship between the Saca and Bush administrations.