SCOTUS rules TPS recipients are not eligible for permanent residency

SCOTUS rules TPS recipients are not eligible for permanent residency”

"Today's decision is not just a setback for those immigrants now in Temporary Protected Status who did not enter the United States lawfully; it also reinforces the barriers that Dreamers would face until and unless Congress provides a statutory path to some kind of permanent lawful status", said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

In 2014, Sanchez applied for lawful permanent resident status, commonly known as a green card, to permanently resettle in the U.S. After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency denied Sanchez's green card application on the grounds that he first entered the U.S. illegally, Sanchez challenged the decision in a federal district court and won.

Currently, besides El Salvador, migrants with TPS status from 11 other countries are protected from deportation.

"Section 1255 generally requires a lawful admission before a person can obtain LPR status".

The Supreme Court was unanimous in its refusal to let immigrants who have been allowed to stay in the United States on humanitarian grounds apply to become permanent residents if they entered the country illegally.

Kagan wrote that they were not. It creates a path to permanent resident status for several categories of immigrants, along with other immigration reforms.

The decision turned on a question as to whether people who came to the USA illegally, yet were granted humanitarian protections, were ever "admitted" to the country.

The petitioners, Jose Santos Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez, a married couple from El Salvador living in New Jersey, now have four children, including one who was born in the United States.

The couple twice entered the United States illegally: in 1997 and 1998.

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In 2001, the US gave Salvadoran migrants legal protection to remain in the USA after a series of earthquakes in their home country.

Kagan, in her opinion, noted that Congress is considering legislation that would recognize TPS recipients as having been lawfully admitted to the U.S. That bill, the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, passed the House in March but likely faces long odds in the Senate.

"An "admission" is defined as 'the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer, '" she wrote.

Besides El Salvador, 11 other countries now have such designations: Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

'The Executive Branch may have some authority to confer forms of temporary legal status on those who crossed the border without permission, but the Supreme Court today reinforced, however indirectly, that only Congress can provide a permanent answer'.

The case is Sanchez v. Mayorkas, No. 20-315 in the Supreme Court of the United States.

Lawyers for Sanchez argued that was a constrained reading of the law.

"On the other hand, a foreign national can be in lawful status but not admitted-think of someone who entered the country unlawfully, but then received asylum".

The government said that while Congress had made some individuals eligible to adjust their status if they met certain criteria and had a sponsor, it was not available to those who had not made a lawful entry.

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