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President George W. Bush delivered good news to the immigrant community by extending Temporary Protective Status (TPS) for an additional 18 months to Hondurans and Nicaraguans.

As part of the Bush Administration’s ongoing efforts to assist countries devastated by Hurricane Mitch, the extension will remain in effect until January 5, 2005. It is estimated that 87,000 Hondurans and 6,000 Nicaraguans will benefit from this measure.

This action demonstrates President Bush’s unwavering commitment to lend a helping hand to those who contribute to the fabric of this great nation through hard work and self-reliance.

President Bush also continues advocating for the confirmation of Miguel Estrada - a Honduran immigrant who exemplifies the boundless potential that the United States offers.

Two years after President Bush sent Miguel Estrada’s nomination to the Senate, the Democrat minority continues its unprecedented move to block a vote on the floor. Despite Estrada’s excellent qualifications, bipartisan support and willingness to answer additional questions regarding his record, Democrats continue their stonewalling of this highly qualified nominee.

To mark the 2-year anniversary of the Democrat’s obstruction of Miguel Estrada, activists held rallies and press conferences in several cities across the nation demanding an up-or down vote on the Senate floor.

It is shameful that Democrats want to subject Miguel Estrada to a higher standard than any other previous nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Please make sure your friends and neighbors hear Miguel’s story.


Rudy Fernández
Director of Grassroots Development
Republican National Committee

Hundreds of Central Americans can stay

Feds cite '99 disaster in legal status extension

Thursday, May 01, 2003

By Martin Espinoza
Journal staff writer

An estimated 1,000 to 1,500 Honduran and Nicaraguan immigrants living in Hudson County are breathing a sigh of relief.

Yesterday, the federal government allowed them to legally work and live in the United States for another 18 months.

Provisional immigration status, granted to them in 1999 after Hurricane Mitch destroyed part of Central America, had been scheduled to expire for Hondurans and Nicaraguans on July 5, putting some 5,000 people living in New Jersey at risk of losing their Temporary Protection Status.

Without this legal status, granted to immigrants from countries devastated by armed conflict or natural disasters, many Hondurans and Nicaraguans in Hudson County would have lost their work authorization and their protections against deportation, according to Monica Cano Carroll, a staff attorney at the American Friends Service Committee.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, it has become increasingly difficult for immigrants to obtain work without proper authorization, Cano Carroll said.

Hondurans and Nicaraguans were granted TPS after the devastation of Hurricane Mitch, one of the strongest hurricanes of the 20th Century. In Honduras alone, an estimated 7,000 people were killed and 600,000 people were left homeless, according to the AFSC.

"We applaud the government's acknowledgment of the importance of TPS for those affected by Hurricane Mitch," Cano Carroll said.

"This extension recognizes the efforts of those Hondurans and Nicaraguans working hard in the United States who send remittances to their countries of origin."

The Inter-American Development Bank calculates that remittances to Central America totaled $5.5 billion in 2002. In Nicaragua, remittances accounted for 29.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, 11.5 percent in Honduras and 15.1 percent in El Salvador.

Cano Carroll said that deporting Hondurans and Nicaraguans to a region that has yet to recover from Hurricane Mitch would in effect destabilize the region's economy. What's more, she said, forced deportation would have destabilized families that have been established in the United States by Nicaraguans and Hondurans.

Along with a group of nonprofit organizations, AFSC had scheduled a press conference today in Newark to urge the federal government to extend the protective status.

"It is the immigrant community that is investing in the rebuilding of this affected area," Cano Carroll said. The recently announced extension "is recognition of this great accomplishment."

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Last modified: 05/14/03