"Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) and other forms of relief from removal under specified circumstances. The Secretary of Homeland Security has the discretion to issue TPS for periods of 6 to 18 months and can extend these periods if conditions leading to the designating of TPS do not change. Congress has also provided TPS legislatively. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and employment authorization for the duration of a given TPS designation. [...] There is ongoing debate about whether migrants who have been living in the United States for long periods of time with TPS should receive a pathway to legal permanent resident (LPR) status. Recent policy debates have also focused on whether the Administration should extend TPS for migrants from Central America because of crime and security challenges in the region, as well as for countries in the Caribbean due to recent hurricanes and, in the case of Haiti, ongoing recovery from natural disasters."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20844
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html