The Supreme Court did their job yesterday in denying an illegal alien the right to apply for permanent residency status. Although he had been granted TPS (temporary protected status), the law allows only immigrants who were lawfully admitted to the United States, and he was not.
The immigrant who filed the lawsuit “was not lawfully admitted, and his TPS does not alter that fact,” Associate Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court. “He therefore cannot become a permanent resident of this country.”
This ruling will stand unless/until Congress passes legislation to change the law.
About 400,000 people, most of them from El Salvador, live in the U.S. with Temporary Protected Status, which permits them to remain as long as the government determines they cannot safely return. At issue in the case was whether those immigrants could apply for lawful permanent residency, or green cards, if they entered the United States illegally.
Federal law requires immigrants seeking green cards to have been “inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States.” A New Jersey couple from El Salvador who lived in the U.S. for two decades argued they met that mandate when they become TPS recipients. Both the Trump and Biden administrations disagreed.
The court also found the argument unpersuasive. . .
“We need to be careful about tinkering with the immigration statutes as written, particularly when Congress has such a primary role here,” Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh told a lawyer for the immigrants in April. “You have an uphill climb.”
In the opinion, Kagan wrote that the statute “does something” and, she added, “this court does not get to say that the something it does is not enough.”
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said the decision reinforces the notion that the program’s benefits are temporary.
“It makes it very clear that when you accept Temporary Protected Status in the United States, it is not the first step on a pathway to a green card, which is how a lot of people look at it,” said Mehlman, whose group supports tighter immigration laws.