Roughly 400,000 illegal immigrants who are under Temporary Protected Status will not be eligible to apply for permanent residency.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided Monday that those with TPS would be unable to get green cards, as it conflicts with the current format of the program, The Associated Press reported.
The program’s main intention was to provide people the opportunity to come to the United States to work without risking deportation if their home country was deemed unsafe.
“A TPS recipient who entered the United States unlawfully is not eligible under §1255 for LPR status merely by dint of his TPS. Section 1255 provides that eligibility for LPR status generally requires an ‘admission’ into the country — defined to mean ‘the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.’ §1101(a)(13)(A). Sanchez did not enter lawfully,” the case’s syllabus explained.
Justice Elena Kagan delivered the opinion of the court, in which she reaffirmed that Jose Santos Sanchez, who arrived in the United States from El Salvador in the 1990s, was “not lawfully admitted.”
She added that changes to existing federal law would be required in order for him and other non-citizens to qualify for permanent status.
“Congress, of course, could have gone further, by deeming TPS recipients to have not only nonimmigrant status but also a lawful admission. Legislation pending in Congress would do just that,” the left-leaning justice wrote.
“See American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 … so that a TPS recipient shall be considered ‘as having been inspected and admitted into the United States, and … as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant.’ But even without that amendment, the statute does something — and this Court does not get to say that the something it does is not enough.”
The American Dream and Promise Act was passed in the House in March and would make the legal changes necessary for those under TPS to establish permanent residency.
As the bill has been held up in the Senate, there is a push from many Democratic lawmakers to get it passed and signed into law by President Joe Biden.
“Countless TPS holders have lived in the United States for decades and call this country home. The Senate needs to pass The American Dream and Promise Act and provide them a path to permanent residence — NOW,” Democratic New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat tweeted Monday.
Countless TPS holders have lived in the United States for decades and call this country home.
The Senate needs to pass The American Dream and Promise Act and provide them a path to permanent residence — NOW. https://t.co/WjObmMzNoG
— Adriano Espaillat (@RepEspaillat) June 7, 2021
Today’s @SCOTUS decision heightens urgency of Senate voting to pass H.R. 6, American Dream and Promise Act, which passed the House in last March and would make TPS holders green card eligible. H.R. 6 adopts TPS reform proposals I previously introduced. https://t.co/aIHPG9mSn3
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) June 7, 2021
Liberals should not be surprised that the court ruled so decisively on the case, given that it is not the Supreme Court’s job to engage in activism but to review current law.
Immigration activists should not hold their breath, though, as the White House has repeatedly ignored other problems like the border crisis and seems to be apathetic toward the issue at large.
This latest news is another wrench thrown into the long-term immigration debate as people try to navigate to a bureaucratic nightmare in order to avoid legal consequences.