A June 7 US Supreme Court decision ruled that hundreds of thousands of immigrants with a temporary immigration status cannot apply for a more permanent way to remain in the country if they first entered without authority to do so.
The unanimous ruling applies to those with Temporary Permanent Status, popularly known as TPS – an estimated population of 400,000 immigrants from countries such as El Salvador, Haiti and Myanmar.
They have been allowed to live and work in the US for a variety of humanitarian reasons and while the ability to stay is considered temporary, many have been in the country for decades and now call the US home.
The court’s decision hinged on how the person first entered the United States. The ruling held hope to those who were granted the status after they entered the US with student or tourist visas, even if the documents eventually expired.
But many, like plaintiff Jose Santos Sanchez, of El Salvador, applied and qualified for TPS after entering the country “unlawfully”.
In those cases, the high court ruled, “a TPS recipient who entered the United States unlawfully is not eligible” to become a permanent resident, a status that would put the person on a path toward citizenship.