WASHINGTON (December 30, 1998)--Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Migration, welcomed the decision by the U.S. government today that the countries of Honduras and Nicaragua have been granted Temporary Protected Status in the wake of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Mitch in Central America.
At the same time, Bishop DiMarzio said it was unfortunate that the U.S. chose not to designate El Salvador and Guatemala, two other countries also affected by Hurricane Mitch, with Temporary Protected Status. "The effect of Mitch was regional, and calls for a regional response," he said.
"The stay of deportation granted to Salvadoran and Guatemalan nationals in the U.S., while temporarily preventing deportation back to their homeland, does not authorize nationals to work in the U.S., and precludes the flow of remittances home to help rebuild El Salvador and Guatemala," Bishop DiMarzio explained. "We urge the Administration to reconsider this decision, or to seek other avenues which allow Salvadoran and Guatemalan nationals in the U.S. to work and assist their families back home."
Text of the statement by Bishop DiMarzio.