Illegally entered immigrants cannot apply for green cards, says Supreme Court

US Supreme Court on Monday unanimously declared that immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally cannot apply for green cards basically because they are given Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.

The decision is an unfortunate development for thousands of U.S. residents who are temporarily absolved from deportation due to the unsafe situations in their respective home countries and now wish to stay permanently in the U.S.

“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.

Federal law gives permission to several non-immigrants to look for an adjustment of their legal status in the U.S. given that they have entered and “admitted” to the country.

Kagan elaborated that TPS is a label conferred by the State Department after a humanitarian or security crisis in a country and it is not itself an admission.