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North Carolina immigrants might have temporary protected status

In North Carolina and elsewhere, some have arrived in the state from countries that have been issued a special designated status. The Secretary of Homeland Security (SHS) sometimes lists certain countries under a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation. This is typically done when it is thought that reasons or conditions exist whereby immigrants residing in the United States would be unable to return safely to their homelands.

Continuing armed conflict, natural disasters or epidemics, as well as other extenuating conditions deemed temporary might be included in an SHS decision to designate TPS to a particular country. A person residing here under a TPS designation is not able to be removed from the United States. In addition, such persons are sometimes eligible for authorized travel and application for employment authorization documents.

Regardless of a person's immigration status, the Department of Homeland Security is not permitted to detain someone who has been granted Temporary Protected Status. However, someone wishing to become a permanent resident in the United States would need to take other measures in order to legitimize his or her status since TPS does not, in any way, affect immigration or permanent residency status in the United States. As noted in its title, it is meant to be a temporary arrangement.

A recent article published a list of countries that have been granted Temporary Protected Statuses. A North Carolina immigrant wishing to check whether his or her country of origin is on the list can do so by accessing an online website. Certain circumstances preclude immigrants from being eligible to maintain TPS, including but not limited to a felony conviction or failure to meet physical or continuing residence requirements in the United States.

Source:, "Temporary Protected Status", Accessed on Aug. 4, 2015

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