Ayuda Offers Relief to Salvadoran Immigrants Seeking Temporary Protected StatusJuly 23, 2010
For one of the largest immigrant populations in the District, life in the US is in a state of constant limbo. Many Salvadorans are in what is perhaps the most precarious immigration status of all: Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
TPS is granted to migrants of a country that has suffered a large-scale disaster. The status was first designated for El Salvador in 2001 in response to the severe earthquakes that devastated the country. The status allows nationals of El Salvador to remain in the US temporarily, with legal authority to work and receive access to critical resources such as driver's licenses, bank accounts, and legal employment. The designation lasts only for a period of 12-18 months and may or may not be extended, depending on the extent to which the TPS country is judged to have recovered.
Each year, those with TPS wait with anticipation, fearing the day that their work authorization lapses.
Often, when an extension is granted, the 60 day re-registration period falls so close to the end of the current TPS period that new work permits are not issued until after the old ones have expired. Many are left with expired documents, and often face hostile employers and government benefits personnel.
Salvadoran immigrants are often not familiar with the US immigration system and their rights under it, and often have limited English language proficiency. As a result of these barriers, they often fall prey to unscrupulous professionals willing to exploit their circumstances for personal gain. Ayuda's attorneys and paralegals frequently hear stories of fraudulent "notarios" (or immigration consultants) and/or attorneys who charge exorbitant fees, often for baseless applications, all while misinforming clients about their status.
In response to this crisis, and the recent renewal of Salvadoran TPS, Ayuda is offering extended office hours in our DC office for Salvadorans seeking to re-register for TPS.
From Monday, July 26th to Friday, August 6th Ayuda will be conducting special walk-in hours for TPS renewals from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm for a fee of $60.
These extended office hours are exclusively open to Salvadorans who are re-registering for benefits under the current TPS extension. Those interested in receiving a legal consultation regarding their TPS eligibility may attend Ayuda's regular walk-in consultation hours on Thursdays from 9 am - 11 am in DC, or Wednesdays from 9 am - 10 am in Virginia.
Nationals of El Salvador wishing to re-register for TPS should come to Ayuda with their most current TPS work permit, two money orders or personal checks made out to the "US Department of Homeland Security" (one for $80 and the other for $340), as well as Ayuda's $60 fee in cash.
Ayuda has been helping low-income immigrants register for and renew TPS since TPS was first created in the 1990s. Since Ayuda's inception in 1973, we have become a trusted, reliable resource that the DC area immigrant community can turn to for accurate legal advice and assistance.
You can help Ayuda protect the rights of immigrants, including Salvadorans seeking TPS renewal, by making a personal gift to Ayuda today.