On June 7th, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Sanchez v. Mayorkas that immigrants who entered the U.S. without inspection and were subsequently granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) cannot qualify for permanent residency without leaving the country. The Court ruled that Adjustment of Status to obtain lawful permanent residency in the U.S. is solely for noncitizens who were inspected at the border and admitted by an immigration officer. Therefore, a majority of the approximate 400,000 TPS holders currently in the U.S. cannot obtain green cards while remaining in the U.S. In order to become permanent residents, they will have to return to their home country for a consular interview and only then – and only if their application is approved – will they be allowed to return.
Professor Steve Vladek, of the University of Texas School of Law, was quoted by CNN. "Today's decision is not just a setback for those immigrants currently in Temporary Protected Status who did not enter the United States lawfully; it also reinforces the barriers that Dreamers would face until and unless Congress provides a statutory path to some kind of permanent lawful status. The Executive Branch may have some authority to confer forms of temporary legal status on those who crossed the border without permission, but the Supreme Court today reinforced, however indirectly, that only Congress can provide a permanent answer.”