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Bush, El Salvador's President Discuss Immigration Reform


President Bush is calling on Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, after meeting with El Salvador's President Tony Saca Tuesday at the White House.

Mr. Bush told reporters Mr. Saca reminded him that the temporary protected status given Salvadoran residents in the United States expires in September. The protected status can be given to citizens of certain countries affected by armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary conditions, but it does not lead to permanent residency.

Mr. Bush did not say whether he supports renewal of protected status for Salvadorans. Instead, he said he told Mr. Saca he is working hard to get Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration bill that would permit illegal immigrants to seek temporary work visas.

President Saca also voiced support for U.S. immigration reform, adding he is grateful that President Bush has always been sensitive to the issues of the two million Salvadorans living in the United States.

The two leaders also said they talked about the free trade agreement between El Salvador and the United States. Mr. Saca said El Salvador's economy has doubled in size since the agreement took effect last year.

President Saca also said the U.S. president's upcoming trip to Latin America next week is significant because it will send a signal about the region's importance.

President Bush said he also expressed his condolences to President Saca for the murder of three Salvadoran politicians in Guatemala last week.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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