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Temporary Protected Status extended 18 more months (El Salvador)

As you can see by the next link, nothing says "Permanent" quite like Temporary Protected Status. That government program allows foreign citizens to stay in the U.S. on a "temporary" basis due to disasters or strife in their homelands. It's important to note that those covered by it are here legally: they aren't illegal aliens. The issue is that TPS keeps getting extended year after year.

Another issue is that it lets the leaders of foreign countries off the hook when it comes to taking care of their own people and it reduces the chances that those countries would reform. But, it's good for Obama's Latino outreach.

From the DHS notice (ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-00143_PI.pdf, bolding added):

This Notice announces that the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) has extended the designation of El Salvador for temporary protected status (TPS) for 18 months from its current expiration date of March 9, 2012 through September 9, 2013. The Secretary has determined that an extension is warranted because the conditions in El Salvador that prompted the TPS designation continue to be met. There continues to be a substantial, but temporary, disruption of living conditions in El Salvador resulting from a series of earthquakes in 2001, and El Salvador remains unable, temporarily, to handle adequately the return of its nationals... This announcement is the eighth extension of TPS for El Salvador.

Later in the notice, the DHS admits that all of their major roads damaged in the earthquake have been repaired and likewise with all seven of their hospitals which were damaged. And, this:

El Salvador’s Ministry of Education reported that while over 2,300 schools had been rebuilt as of July 2004, the remaining 270 schools damaged by the earthquakes will require $21.7 million in financing to complete construction. According to the USAID Reconstruction Office, that funding was not available.

Here's a better solution: come up with the money, replace TPS with a repatriation program, and put those covered by TPS to work building schools and other facilities. The U.S. would lose some financial activity when all those people go home, but that would have a net benefit to the U.S. because Americans on unemployment would be able to take many of the jobs currently done by those in TPS. That would also be a bit of a stimulus plan for El Salvador itself.

Ask political leaders why they aren't able to come up with $21.7 million for such a stimulus plan when it would be much more beneficial to both countries. Don't just complain about the program or ask a general question, ask them if they disagree with the plan in the preceding paragraph and if so ask them specifically why.

Tue, 01/10/2012 - 17:55 · Importance: 4