Supreme Court Rules Against Immigrants With Temporary Protected Status Seeking Green Cards

Headline Roundup June 7th, 2021

On Monday, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that unauthorized immigrants who entered the country and were temporarily allowed to remain are not eligible to become permanent residents. Justice Elena Kagan said on behalf the court that the ruling was a "a straightforward application” of the law, which requires lawful admission into the U.S. in order to be eligible for a green card. The court also said that even if a person is later granted temporary protected status for humanitarian crises in their home country, the lawful admission requirement remains. Currently, more than 400,000 people currently live in the U.S. under temporary protected status. Kagan also wrote that Congress is considering the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021, which would recognize temporary protected status recipients as lawfully admitted. The bill passed the Democratic-controlled House in March, but will likely face more challenges in the Senate. The case arose after two unauthorized immigrants from El Salvador attempted to use the temporary protected status to gain lawful admission after entering the country illegally in the 1990s following a 2001 earthquake in their home country. 

The story received consistent coverage across the political spectrum. 

From the Left
319

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that immigrants allowed to stay in the United States temporarily for humanitarian reasons may not apply for green cards if they had entered the country unlawfully.

The case, Sanchez v. Mayorkas, No. 20-315, could affect tens of thousands of immigrants. It was brought by Jose Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez, natives of El Salvador who entered the United States unlawfully in the late 1990s.

In 2001, after earthquakes devastated El Salvador, the United States made that country’s nationals eligible for the “temporary protected status” program. The program...

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From the Center
319

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally and were later allowed to remain in the country for humanitarian reasons are not eligible to become permanent residents.

The court’s unanimous decision could affect thousands of people, including many who have lived in the U.S. for years and hoped to obtain lawful permanent resident status, or a green card.

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the court, said the decision was “a straightforward application” of U.S. law, which generally requires an immigrant to have been lawfully admitted to...

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From the Right
319

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously against an illegal, but temporarily protected, immigrant seeking permanent residency in the country.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the court agreed with a circuit court decision that illegal immigrants with temporary protected status are not eligible for green cards, which allow them to remain in the country indefinitely. The decision means that immigrants with TPS may remain in the country but cannot establish residency. 

TPS is a designation the federal government extends to countries wracked by war or natural disaster. There are currently...

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