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Temporary visa protected status remains highly contested issue

In North Carolina and beyond, many foreigners cross the nation's borders claiming that they are fleeing danger or extreme poverty.  In 1990, a temporary visa that offers protection was enacted as a humanitarian effort to aid those suffering from civil strife in their homelands and those seeking respite from alleged threats of violence. Some have asserted that while the intentions of the temporary protective status act were good, the residual effects have proved detrimental to the nation as a whole.

More than a decade ago, a director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform testified that the nation's system inevitably rewards undocumented immigrants and promotes further disruption at the borders. He claimed that many who enter the United States under a protected status do so in order to gain entrance into the country without intending to return to their native lands once the adverse conditions from which they have fled are resolved. Others say that the nation cannot, in good conscience, offer reprieves to undocumented immigrants for years at a time only to strip them of all they have accomplished in that time by sending them back to their homelands.

Another program in the late 90s granted amnesty to immigrants who had been living in the United States under temporary protected statuses and had established a stable lifestyle after years of education, work and contribution to American economy. Granting these immigrants amnesty enabled them to avoid deportation, even if living conditions in their homelands had improved and no long posed a danger. Those who staunchly oppose temporary protected status claim that, as the executive branch of government in the United States retains the power to temporarily suspend deportation in urgent situations, they believe TPS to be unnecessary.

North Carolina immigrants who have a temporary visa under a protected status and who wish to gain permanent residency might benefit from advice from a legal professional experienced in immigration and naturalization cases. Though TPS is not intended to be used as a stepping stone toward legitimized status, each case is unique and any immigrant affected by similar issues would do well to seek legal consultation in order to assess the circumstances of his or her case. Ensuring one's understanding of the complexities involved in such cases and determination of which options are available may help those attempting to navigate the legal system.

Source:, "Temporary Protected Status (2015)", Accessed on March 24, 2015

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