Asdrubal Aguilar Zepeda, El Salvador's new consul general based in Atlanta, is the point man for encouraging El Salvadorans living in Alabama, Georgia and North and South Carolina, who have not renewed their temporary protective status in the United States to do so. A delegation of El Salvador officials was in the Atlanta area Feb. 16 and 17 to open the new consulate general in Duluth as part of a nationwide campaign to help Salvadorans avoid the pitfalls of rushing through complicated immigration documents to beat the March 8 deadline. President Bush granted Salvadorans an extension to the protective status, originally granted in March 2001. The special status entitles the immigrants to work permits and protection from deportation for 18 months. The renewal extends that protection through Sept. 9, 2006. Those who already have been granted temporary protective status are eligible to live and work in the U.S. for the additional 18 months and continue to maintain their status, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The protective status is intended to help Salvadorans while their country rebuilds after two earthquakes in 2001 that killed some 1,500 people. The earthquakes destroyed hospitals, schools and many homes. Mr. Aguilar has served in diplomatic positions in El Salvador and internationally since 1974, including as vice consul in Los Angeles and Chicago, and most recently as El Salvador's consul general in Chiapas, Mexico. To reach the consulate general located at 3505 Duluth Park Lane, call (770) 623-8891.