El Salvador to keep lobbying for comprehensive U.S. immigration reform

16:17, April 27, 2011      

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El Salvador will continue to lobby the United States for a comprehensive immigration reform, which will include labor agreements for Latin American immigrants, the nation's Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez said Tuesday.

"In the bilateral talks we are having the door has not been closed to these kinds of temporary work permits, but we have to make sure that certain things are brought in order to guarantee that such permits will be sustainable," Martinez told a local television station.

"We have been negotiating with the U.S. State Department, with the National Security Department, and (El Salvador's) President (Mauricio) Funes has also made specific requests about how our people can benefit from the granting of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as part of an integrated immigration reform," he said.

He said that during U.S. President Barack Obama's recent visit to El Salvador, Obama had "showed openness and commitment" to El Salvador's request, and that El Salvador "in that context will lobby for the support from representatives of both parties" in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

"Whenever I visit Washington, I take advantage of meeting with different congressmen to talk about these issues," he said, adding "it is not a decision that depends on the government of El Salvador."

Since 2003, El Salvador has been lobbying the United States for getting 285,000 Salvadorans included in the program that would grant them U.S.permanent residence permits.

Source: Xinhua
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