The Supreme Court is expected to hear pleadings on Monday in a possible landmark immigration case that could dramatically change the fortunes of thousands of people currently living in the United States after fleeing countries with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
The United States designates certain countries for the TPS if they are deemed unsafe due to conditions such as earthquakes, hurricanes, civil war or other armed conflict or other “extraordinary and temporary conditions”. People from these countries who are already in the United States after entering illegally may receive privileges, such as employment and travel authorizations, and are protected against deportation.
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Circuit courts have been divided over whether those who entered the United States illegally but now have TPS protection can apply for green cards without first leaving the United States and requesting to return. In the court case on Monday, Sanchez v Mayorkas, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against green card candidates Jose Santos Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez, overturning a lower court ruling.
A key question is whether the grant of GST protection constitutes “admission” into the United States for the purposes of another law, which allows adjustment of a person’s status if they have been “inspected and admitted”. or parole “in the United States.
“[A] granting the TPS cannot be an ‘admission’ because § 1254a requires an alien to be present in the United States to be eligible for the TPS, “said Circuit Third, referring to the statute covering the TPS . ” In accordance with this fact, we have recognized that TPS is not “an entry program for a foreigner”. “
The ruling also noted that Congress had made an exception to the admission requirement for certain people, but not for those with TPS protection. “Instead, he stated that an alien with TPS” will be considered to have legal nonimmigrant status and do so, “” the Third Circuit noted.
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The Third Circuit also said that the temporary nature of the TPS means it is not meant to be permanent admission.
“Treating a GST subsidy as an admission would open the door to more permanent status adjustments that Congress has not intended,” the court said.
In the lower court decision, New Jersey District Judge Robert Kugler said that the “legal status” granted by TPS “is fully consistent with being viewed as if the plaintiffs had been” inspected and admitted.[.]”
The 5th and 11th circuits decided on the same side of the question as the 3rd circuit, but the 6th, 8th and 9th circuits took the opposite position.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of Sanchez and Gonzalez, who came from El Salvador to the United States, it could allow tens of thousands of people currently residing in the United States to obtain green cards.
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If the Supreme Court upholds the 3rd Circuit ruling, TPS recipients would have to leave the United States to apply for green cards, which could take up to 10 years in some cases due to entry bans for those who have entered. illegally in the United States.
The case comes at a time when the United States is witnessing an influx of migrants to the southern border that President Biden called a “crisis” on Saturday, with officials struggling to deal with the influx of people crossing the country from Mexico. Biden blamed this for why he has yet to raise the Trump administration’s ceiling on refugees.
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