Some of the thousands of immigrants who are in Massachusetts under "temporary protected status" (TPS) say they have been told in the past few days that they can no longer work, and others have been denied drivers licenses, even though their immigration status has not changed.

The problem appears to be that even though courts have blocked — at least temporarily — a Trump administration plan to send many of these immigrants back to their home countries, their work permits show that their protected status has expired.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that existing work permits will be effective until January, but it has not issued new documents for immigrants.

There are more than 12,000 immigrants in Massachusetts on TPS. The Trump administration attempted to end the program for people from several countries, and send most back to their home countries, including 6,000 Salvadorans living in the commonwealth. But federal courts have blocked the administration's action so far, allowing these immigrants to stay in the U.S. at least until Jan. 2 while litigation continues.

Nevertheless, Salvadorans in Massachusetts and across the country say that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is not issuing new work permits that extend to January, so some agencies, including the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, are denying services to TPS holders who are still legally eligible.

Jose Urias, the Massachusetts representative for the National TPS Alliance (NTA), said he called the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Wilmington before heading there this week to renew his registration. What he found, he said, was confusion. RMV clerks seemed unfamiliar with TPS.

Urias has worked with the RMV to explain the intricacies of this particular immigration process, but even he is experiencing problems with the system. He said at least a dozen Salvadorans in the state have called advocacy agencies and the Salvadoran consulate to say they have been turned away at RMV offices by clerks who cannot verify their status.

“We’re in touch with 10 people who cannot renew their drivers’ licenses," Urias said. "Nine went to the RMV in Revere and could not renew there ... Another one could not renew in Worcester.”

WGBH News reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for comment, but spokesman Patrick Marvin said he was unaware that people were having difficulties.

Jose Palma, the national representative for NTA, told WGBH News that some workers with TPS are also being questioned by their employers. He said dozens of Salvadoran TPS holders went to their jobs on Monday and were told they were no longer eligible to work, even though they still have legal immigration status.

“People are supposed to be protected by the immigration injunction," which originally was slated to expire Sept. 9 but was then extended until Jan. 2, Palma said.

Urias said the decision not to print new work permits for eligible TPS holders is creating a nightmare for people on their jobs and at RMVs.

Salvadorans, who make up the largest number of TPS holders in the country, were already on pins and needles as the clock ticks down to the end of the year. Now, some are also trying to figure out how to explain to employers that they are still eligible to work for another five months.

Similar stories, according to Palma, are coming out of North Carolina, Nebraska, Arkansas and Texas. Meanwhile, as WGBH News reported in arecent series, Urias said that some Salvadoran truck drivers with TPS are not waiting to see what happens in court and are making their way across the Canadian border to offer their skills there.

The TPS program was established in 1990 to allow immigrants from designated countries — including Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua and others — to remain in the U.S. because natural disasters or political upheaval have rendered their home countries too dangerous.