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Homeland Security grants temporary protected status to Afghans in the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security will grant temporary protected status, or TPS, to Afghans currently in the U.S. 

TPS is available to people from a handful of countries where DHS has determined conflict, natural disaster or other factors have made it impossible to safely return there. Grantees of the status receive a work permit and temporary protection from deportation. 

DHS says the new designation comes as drought, food and water insecurity worsen in Afghanistan and the Taliban cement control after taking power last August. 

Almost 75,000 Afghans evacuated from their country back then are in the U.S. now and eligible for TPS. But most already have the same protection under another temporary status called humanitarian parole. Neither provides a pathway to permanent legal status or citizenship in the U.S. 

Advocates say it’s a step in the right direction, but still just a temporary solution. 

Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.