Saca buddies up to Democrats

Dan Grech Feb 27, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: President Bush meets with El Salvador’s President at the White House today.Nothing too unusual about that, Tony Saca and President Bush are pretty friendly. But this time, he’s also meeting with Democratic leaders in Congress. And that is a little unusual. Dan Grech reports from our America’s Desk at WLRN.

DAN GRECH: El Salvador is the Bush administration’s top ally in Latin America. It’s the only country in the region with troops in Iraq and has been a key Republican supporter on free trade.

So it’s significant that President Saca is meeting with two Democrats — House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid.

Manuel Orozco is with the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington DC, think thank.

MANUEL OROZCO: El Salvador has figured out the arithmetic of politics in the U.S., especially in Congress. They want to obtain a special status for El Salvadorians, given the debate on immigration.

A quarter-million Salvadorians live in the U.S. under temporary protected status, a program that must be renewed annually.

President Saca wants Congress to grant permanent residency to those immigrants because his government relies on the money they send home.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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