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Immigration reprieve for Central Americans

The U.S. will extend a special immigration status for eligible Hondurans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans already living in the country, the Department of Homeland Security announced today.

Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which allows recipients to live and work in the U.S., will be extended for another 18 months for the three nationalities. The announcement affects about 78,000 Hondurans, 4,000 Nicaraguans and 230,000 Salvadorans.

Congress created TPS as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, as a response to the civil wars engulfing the three countries. It is for immigrants in the U.S. temporarily unable to return to their home country because of ongoing conflict, environmental disaster or other extraordinary and temporary conditions.

Hondurans and Nicaraguans were granted TPS in December 1998, after Hurricane Mitch battered their countries. Salvadorans were added to the TPS list after an earthquake hit their country in January 2001.

TPS designations for Hondurans and Nicaraguans expire on July 5, 2007, while TPS for Salvadorans expires in Sept. 9, 2007. USCIS has not yet begun registration to renew TPS status, but will soon publish information about it at.

Posted by Nicole Gaouette in Washington

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