The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) first granted nine years ago to Salvadoran immigrants has been extended for 18 months, to March 9, 2012, the office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced Friday.
TPS, which entitles beneficiaries to a work permit, can be conferred on immigrants from countries devastated by natural disasters or armed conflict.
Salvadoran migrants received the favored status in 2001, after their country experienced two powerful earthquakes within the space of a month.
The decision to extend TPS for 217,000 Salvadorans was greeted with joy by the Central American nation’s ambassador in Washington, Francisco Altschul.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano concluded that the conditions which first prompted the grant of TPS to migrants of El Salvador persist, USCIS said, while noting that the benefit is not available to Salvadorans who entered the United States after Feb. 13, 2001, the date of the second of the twin earthquakes.
The USCIS announcement “brings peace and tranquility to Salvadoran families, since they will be able to continue working and contributing so much to the economy of the U.S. and to that of El Salvador,” Altschul said, alluding to the remittances sent home by the immigrants.
The embassy in Washington and the 16 Salvadoran Consulates around the United States are already gearing up to help TPS holders submit their renewal applications, the ambassador said. EFE