TPS Renewed for Salvadoran Immigrants in the US
Yesterday (Thursday, May 30), the US Department of Homeland Security announced an 18-month renewal of its Temporary Protective Status (TPS) program for El Salvador. TPS was originally granted to undocumented Salvadorans living in the US in 2001 after two earthquakes devastated their home country. The program grants those who are enrolled a work permit, exempting them from deportation.
The current TPS program was scheduled to expire in September of this year, right when campaigning for El Salvador’s February 2014 presidential elections will be amping up. While the 212,000 Salvadorans that benefit from TPS only represent a fraction of the estimated 2 million Salvadorans living in the US, this early extension means the renewal process will not be able to be manipulated for electoral purposes as it has been in the past: in both the 2004 and 2009 presidential elections, the Salvadoran right wing and Republicans in Congress threatened an end to TPS should the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party win.
TPS beneficiaries can reenroll in the program from now until July 29, and the Salvadoran Minister of Foreign Relations, Hugo Martínez announced that all of El Salvador’s consulates in the US will assit those eligible with the process. Only Salvadorans who arrived in the US prior to 2001 are eligible, and each must pay over $400 in fees to renew their status. The extension of TPS will be valid through March 9, 2015.