Judge Elena Kagan wrote to the court that federal immigration law prohibits people who entered the country illegally and now have temporary protected status from applying for “green cards” to stay in the country permanently.
The designation applies to people who come from countries devastated by war or disaster. It protects them from deportation and allows them to work legally. There are 400,000 people from 12 countries with TPS status.
The outcome of a case involving a couple from El Salvador who have been in the United States since the early 1990s focused on whether people who entered the country illegally and received humanitarian protection were ever “admitted” to the United States. United States under immigration law.
Kagan wrote that they were not. “The TPS program grants foreigners nonimmigrant status, but does not admit them. Therefore, granting TPS does not make an illegal participant … eligible” for a green card, he wrote.
The House of Representatives has already passed legislation that would make it possible for TPS recipients to become permanent residents, Kagan said. The bill faces uncertain prospects in the Senate.
The case pitted the Biden administration against immigrant groups who argued that many people who came to the United States for humanitarian reasons have lived in the country for many years, have given birth to American citizens, and have taken root in the United States.
In 2001, the United States granted Salvadoran migrants legal protection to remain in the United States after a series of earthquakes in their home country.
People from 11 other countries are equally protected. They are: Haiti, Honduras, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.