Supreme Court Rules Against Immigrants With Temporary Status
Speaker 1: 00:00 Temporary protected status ensures the rights of roughly 400,000 foreign nationals to remain in the United States. If it's deemed, they cannot safely returned to their country of origin. However, the Supreme court unanimously ruled this morning that temporary protection from deportation does not guarantee a path to a more permanent stay in the country. Joining me with more on the implications of this ruling is Andrew. [inaudible] a local immigration attorney and a member of the American immigration lawyers association. Andrew. Welcome. Speaker 2: 00:32 Thank you. What are the implications Speaker 1: 00:34 Of this ruling? Could it potentially affect hundreds of thousands of people in this country? Speaker 2: 00:39 Well, I think it's important to realize that this is not going to effect everybody who has TPS temporary protective status, but it will affect many who are otherwise eligible to become legal, permanent residents. When it comes to becoming a legal permanent resident or somebody who's physically in the United States. Current federal law requires that that person who's, as people refer to at seeking a green card and going through the adjustment of status process also have gone through what's called an inspection and admission process. And so some of the people who have TPS went through that process and some did not. So it will affect certain people who might otherwise be able to get their green bonds. Do you have Speaker 1: 01:17 Any sense of how many people in San Diego county will be affected by the decision? Speaker 2: 01:21 Well in San Diego, I think it potentially could affect a lot of people. I think it's important to think about how individuals with TPS get to the United States. Some people might have come here on tourist visas. Some might've come here on student visas. Others might have directly been fleeing some type of war or natural disaster in their home countries. And they essentially came to the United States and entered without any type of visa at all. So this decision really impacts those who perhaps were most directly trying to save themselves from those conditions and enter the United States without any type of formal process. And the Supreme court decision essentially says that those individuals will not be able to go through the adjustment of status process, even if they are married to a United States citizen, oddly, as it might seem those people with TPS or in the United States, even if they're without status, for instance, that they overstayed a visa. If they overstate a tourist visa or a student visa, those individuals can go through the adjustment of status. So it's really going to depend on how those individuals came to the United States to begin with some of the Speaker 1: 02:29 Countries that are covered by the temporary protected status program. And what is that? Program's purpose Speaker 2: 02:36 TPSR is a program for nationals of certain countries, where there are conditions that are, that essentially temporarily prevent them from returning safely. DHS, the department of Homeland security can designate countries for TPS, for reasons like ongoing armed conflict, civil war, environmental disasters, like earthquakes or hurricanes and epidemic or other sort of extraordinary and temporary conditions. Right now, I believe there are 12 countries that have been designated for a TPS status. Those would include, uh, Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. So individuals from those countries would be able to apply for TPS because the conditions in their home countries have so bad that they essentially cannot return. So Speaker 1: 03:28 This ruling mainly affects a person's ability to get a green card. As you mentioned, what about a path to citizenship? How does it affect that? Speaker 2: 03:37 Well, in order to become a citizen, uh, the way the current laws are written, we first need to be a legal, permanent resident. So that is an important step on the road to citizenship. An individual needs to get that green card first and then have it for a certain number of years. Usually up to five years before they can then naturalize and becoming United States citizens. So if you block somebody from getting their green card from getting that legal, permanent resident status, you're also blocking them from eventually getting the United States citizenship. And it's also important to remember that a lot of people with TPS are going to be in the country for many years, because sometimes those conditions back home just don't fix themselves very quickly. So those that are being blocked from this pathway to any type of more permanent legalization in the United States are often doomed to a life of living in limbo for quite some time, if not forever. Now the Supreme court Speaker 1: 04:36 Essentially punted this policy decision to Congress. What efforts are there in Congress to fix the TPS program or provide those with temporary protected status, with a path to permanent residency and or citizenship. Speaker 2: 04:51 So that, that was the one of the most interesting things about this unanimous decision justice Kagan, who, who wrote the decision was very clear that Congress is considering legislation that would allow all TPS applicants or recipients to get some type of permanent lawful resident status. And so the Supreme court said, essentially, this is not for us to decide. This is for Congress to decide there has to be some type of permanent solution to this. And I think a lot of this is from a certain amount of frustration that is apparently shared by everybody on the Supreme court, as well as people across this country. That there's really no consistent application of some of these rules. And until Congress passes some type of consistent and fair application of the rules that will be applied consistently across the country, we're going to regularly see these issues coming up. And the Supreme court is essentially saying, you know, Congress, you need to address this. I've Speaker 1: 05:50 Been speaking with Andrew, [inaudible] a local immigration attorney and a member of the American immigration lawyers association. Andrew, thank you for joining us. Thank you very much for having me.