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Supreme Court Limits Green Card Path for TPS Holders
USAgNet - 06/08/2021

The Supreme Court on Monday limited the path to permanent U.S. residency for foreign citizens with temporary immigration protections, closing a window that allowed some immigrants to get green cards in recent years.

In a unanimous decision, the justices found a grant of Temporary Protected Status, which provides work permits and deportation relief to immigrants from certain countries in crisis, does not constitute a legal admission to the United States -- a requirement for some to become permanent residents.

Individuals who cross the border illegally but are granted protections for victims of crimes, for example, are allowed to later become permanent residents. However, the same is not true for the roughly 400,000 recipients of TPS living in the U.S., the high court held.

"Lawful status and admission, as the court below recognized, are distinct concepts in immigration law: Establishing one does not necessarily establish the other," Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the high court. "And because a grant of TPS does not come with a ticket of admission, it does not eliminate the disqualifying effect of an unlawful entry."

The case puts an end to a split among circuit courts that allowed immigrants living in some states to get green cards in the last few years, while those with identical circumstances in other states could not.

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