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US Supreme Courts: Temporary Status Refugees Can’t Apply for Green Cards

Washington (SD) – The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Green Card residency permit should not be granted to Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and those who entered the country illegally.

“The question here is whether the conferral of TPS enables him to obtain LPR [Legal Permanent Residency] status despite his unlawful entry. We hold that it does not,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote in the opinion.

The ruling by the US Supreme Court is a blow to many Somalis and other asylum seekers in the country, who have been awaiting legal status for some time.

Lawyers and refugee advocates are urging refugees to contact their lawyer for more information about the court’s decision and how it effects their status.

The case was brought by Jose Santos Sanchez, a Salvadoran immigrant who entered the U.S. illegally in 1993 but was later protected under TPS in 2001. He applied for a green card in 2014 but was deemed ineligible.

There are about 320,000 refugees currently seeking asylum in the U.S. and are protected by TPS, according to the Congressional Research Service. The immigrants hail from 12 countries: Burma, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

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