Residency Extended for Central Americans

Suzanne Gamboa, AP, Feb. 22, 2006

The Bush administration has decided to extend special temporary U.S. residency for Central Americans for another 12 months, a spokeswoman for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (news, bio, voting record) said Wednesday.

The decision means hundreds of thousands of Central Americans will not have to return home when their Temporary Protected Status ends next month.

Alex Cruz, a press aide to Ros-Lehtinen, said the administration plans to announce the decision officially on Friday, but Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., sent out a news release Wednesday after she was informed of the decision by the White House.

“We are just letting our community people know because there are so many folks who depend on TPS,” Cruz said.

The U.S. provided temporary legal residence and authority to work in this country to Nicaraguans and Hondurans after Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and to Salvadorans following a devastating earthquake in 2001. That status has been renewed several times.

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