January 13, 2012
The Obama administration has just quietly issued another extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) originally granted to 217,000 illegal aliens from El Salvador.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), due to two earthquakes in 2001, “El Salvador remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals.”
The Bush administration issued the original TPS order in March 2001, after earthquakes occurred in both January and February of that year.
Both Presidents Bush and Obama have been consistently issuing extensions to the Salvadoran nationals in this country illegally, every time their legal status is about to expire–always citing humanitarian concerns.
However, this is an election year, and a more likely reason to grant the extension until late 2013, is Obama’s continued effort to sure-up the Latino vote.
Another reason for the extension may be found in a meeting which took place in Washington this week. El Salvador’s Foreign Minister, Hugo Martinez met with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and the two reportedly discussed the need to extend the TPS.
You see, El Salvador, just as does most of Central America and Mexico, depends heavily on wire transfers or remittances from Salvadorans living and working illegally in this country.
In fact, in 2010 alone, the Central Bank reported that remittances from the U.S. reached $3.5 billion (or one-seventh of El Savador’s total GDP).
Furthermore, according to UN Development Program surveys, an estimated 22.3 percent of Salvadoran families receive remittances.
(Source data: U.S. Department of State (Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs report: Nov. 10, 2011)