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Last week, the US Supreme Court released its opinion re Sanchez v. Mayorkas, a case that questioned whether an individual with Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) is considered to be lawfully admitted and thereby eligible to obtain lawful-permanent-resident status. TPS is typically granted to migrants fleeing economic, environmental or political disaster in their home countries. TPS designation is made by the Secretary of Homeland Security to certain countries. Currently, certain citizens from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela and Burma, may be eligible for TPS. TPS holders can reside and work in the United States but are not able to obtain a green card. The designated status is only temporary.
Applicants applying for a green card from within the United States have to show that they were admitted or paroled into the US. In order to get a green card (or adjust their status) they must have had a prior status. Some federal circuit courts (the Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth circuits) have found TPS to be an admission for adjustment purposes. But others (the Third and Eleventh circuits) have said that TPS does not sufficiently qualify as an admission. In last week’s decision, the Supreme Court unanimously favored the Third and Eleventh circuits’ stance, effectively making the consideration of TPS as an admission void.
Despite the Supreme Court’s decision that TPS holders may not adjust status, the Biden administration or Congress may nonetheless extend or even expand TPS protection. The White House proposed a bill in February called the “U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021” which would allow TPS holders to apply for green cards. No decision has yet been made on the proposed legislation.
If you have questions about TPS, please call Blaszkow Legal, PLLC today to see if you are eligible at (703) 879-5910.
If you are a TPS recipient and want to apply for a green card, this decision does not mean you are completely disqualified. Please call Blaszkow Legal, PLLC to see whether you have a path to a green card and what additional steps would need to be taken at (703) 879-5910.