The Supreme Court announced its shocking 9-0 decision on the Sanchez v. Mayorkas case on Monday. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court that federal law is explicit in its requirements that all immigrants must be adequately “inspected and admitted or paroled” to receive the benefits that come along with permanent residency. Consider this another major win for American sovereignty as thousands of illegal immigrants flood our southern border every week looking for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Sanchez v. Mayorkas involved Jose Sanchez and Sonia Gonzalez, an El Salvadorian couple that came to America in 1997 illegally and claimed TPS to stay in New Jersey. In 2014 they attempted to change their status from temporary protected status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.
On a rare occasion, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under Trump and Biden agreed that the couple’s illegal entry voided their ability to claim LPR. You must leave the country and go back to your home country. Wait and apply.
Why have immigration laws at all if immigrants are allowed to come into the country under temporary status, get settled and established – on the taxpayer dime – and then have the legal right to receive permanent resident status and thus receive most of the benefits of American citizenship?
The Supreme Court agreed with the Biden and Trump USCIS assertion that non-citizens who enter the United States illegally are not eligible to apply for permanent resident status. Justice Kagan writes that the court upholds the following opinion: “A TPS recipient who entered the United States unlawfully is not eligible under §1255 for LPR status merely by dint of his TPS. Section 1255 provides that eligibility for LPR status generally requires an “admission” into the country- defined to mean “the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.” Sanchez did not enter lawfully.”
The Supreme Court argued that Sanchez’s temporary protected status “does not eliminate the effect of that unlawful entry.” The act of entering into the country illegally under America’s TPS laws negates your eligibility to receive lawful permanent resident status. Justice Kagan wrote that Sanchez’s “TPS does not eliminate the effect of that unlawful entry. Section 1254a(f)(4) provides that a TPS recipient who applies for permanent residency will be treated as having nonimmigrant status—the status traditionally and generally needed to invoke the LPR process under §1255.”
Justice Kagan’s opinion stated, “Sanchez entered this country unlawfully from El Salvador. Years later, because of unsafe living conditions in that country, the Government granted him Temporary Protected Status (TPS), entitling him to stay and work in the United States for as long as those conditions persist.”
It continued, “Sanchez now wishes to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. The question here is whether the conferral of TPS enables him to obtain LPR status despite his unlawful entry.”
“We hold that it does not.”
The Supreme Court added, “Section 1255 generally requires a lawful admission before a person can obtain LPR status. Sanchez was not lawfully admitted, and his TPS does not alter that fact. He therefore cannot become a permanent resident of this country. We affirm the judgment below.”
Sanchez cannot enter America illegally and claim nonimmigrant status. This implies that the over 400,000 – documented – immigrants that came to the U.S. illegally and stayed under TPS cannot apply for lawful permanent resident status, either.