The lives of thousands of immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) were thrown into further turmoil today when a unanimous Supreme Court restricted a potential path to permanent residence for those who entered the country without permission. There are approximately 400,000 people from 12 countries with TPS status, which provides the right to live and work lawfully in the United States but no permanent status.
The ruling impacts TPS recipients who last entered the country without permission and are applying for permanent residence in the United States based on a petition filed by a relative or employer. TPS holders in this situation may still be able to pursue permanent residence but will likely face a more complicated path to do so. The Supreme Court’s ruling creates additional obstacles to permanent status for TPS holders that have established roots, family and community in the United States.
“This ruling penalizes immigrants who have been granted humanitarian protection, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades, simply due to their manner of entry,” said Allison Davenport, Supervising Attorney with the ILRC. “Congress must act now to provide an expedited, inclusive, and humane pathway to citizenship for all immigrants, regardless of how they entered the country.”
The House has passed legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for TPS recipients, but the bill faces an uphill battle in the Senate.
TPS recipients are encouraged to speak with a trusted legal expert about their legal options and if this decision might impact their individual case.