Somalis illegally in U.S. given temporary protected status

Migrant health director Miriam Ceja de Dias takes the temperature of a Somali asylum immigrant at the Salud Family Health Clinic on May 2 in Colorado. [Photo: John Moore / Getty Images]

Migrant health director Miriam Ceja de Dias takes the temperature of a Somali asylum immigrant at the Salud Family Health Clinic on May 2, 2013, in Colorado. [Photo: John Moore / Getty Images]

The U.S. government extended a temporary protected status on Monday to Somali citizens living illegally in the United States which will allow them to remain in the states for 18 more months.

The temporary protected status is a special immigration status that allows people living illegally in the states to work legally and shields them from being deported or detained.

The protected status is effective Sept. 18, 2015, through March 17, 2017.

Somalis who already have the temporary protected status must re-register during the 60-day re-registration period that runs from June 1 to July 31.

Some Somalis who illegally enter the U.S., usually via the Mexican border, seek asylum, but many of them are in this country without work permits. There are Somali youth currently detained in jails in California and Arizona, while waiting for a decision on their asylum cases.

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