Temporary protected status is a designation given to individuals when extraordinary or extreme circumstances prevent them from safely returning home from a temporary trip to the United States. This can be due to a break out of some sort of armed conflict or a natural disaster such as a hurricane.
Sometimes, temporary protected status is granted when a country is unable to safely receive their citizens. For example, a traveler comes to the United States for a three-week vacation. During that period of time, a civil war breaks out in their country and the government does not have order of its people. The United States may declare a temporary protected status for the vacationer so that he or she does not have to return to a country that cannot guarantee their safety.
If an individual is given temporary protected status, they are able to seek employment authorization, which would allow them to earn money while in the United States, and are not in danger of being removed from the country until temporary protected status has ended.