AP NEWS
Click to copy
Click to copy

Salvadorans hoping for US visas leave disappointed

July 29, 2019
1 of 4
Salvadorans wait at the Labor Ministry after the government announced it was negotiating a temporary U.S. farm work visa program, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, July 29, 2019. Salvadorans who had waited in line for U.S. work visas started heading back to their hometowns Monday after learning the program wasn't ready yet. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
1 of 4
Salvadorans wait at the Labor Ministry after the government announced it was negotiating a temporary U.S. farm work visa program, in San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday, July 29, 2019. Salvadorans who had waited in line for U.S. work visas started heading back to their hometowns Monday after learning the program wasn't ready yet. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hundreds of Salvadorans who had waited in line for U.S. work visas started heading back to their hometowns Monday after learning the program wasn’t ready yet.

The lines started forming in front of the Labor Ministry last week after the government announced it was negotiating a temporary farm work visa program with the United States.

Other countries like Mexico have long had access to such H-2A visas.

But officials at El Salvador’s Labor Ministry acknowledged they could only take people’s names for a later date when the program is finally implemented.

Luis Antonio Rivera was among about 500 people who had pinned their hopes on the visas. The 43-year-old farmer said, “We are almost dying of hunger because we don’t make enough to support our families.”

Dalia Palacios, 30, had traveled to the capital from the nearby township of Quezalpeque with her 7-year-old daughter.

“I’m sad, frustrated, my dreams are dashed,” said Palacios. “They said they weren’t going to take down our information, they said they would call us when the agreement is worked out.”

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.