SCOTUS VICTORY: Temporary Protected Status Does Not Make an Illegal Alien Eligible for a Green Card | Federation for American Immigration Reform
Government Relations 3 – 4 minutes
FAIR Take | June 2021
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion in Sanchez v. Mayorkas. The Court held that a grant of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) does not count an as “lawful admission” for the purpose of establishing eligibility for a green card. This decision affirms Congress’s intent that TPS is a temporary status. TPS does not provide a pathway to citizenship or otherwise provide an immigration benefit after an alien’s TPS status expires.
The petitioner in this case, Jose Santos Sanchez, is a Salvadoran national who entered the United States illegally in 1997 and thereafter worked without employment authorization. He obtained TPS in 2001 after El Salvador was designated for TPS following a series of earthquakes. In 2014, Sanchez applied for adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident, or what is commonly referred to as receiving a “green card.”
Section 245a of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) governs adjustment of status, and requires that an alien be “inspected and lawfully admitted or paroled” in order to be eligible to adjust status to lawful permanent resident. Aliens who enter the United States without inspection (EWI) or illegally cross the border are ineligible to become permanent residents. The Court ruled that a grant of TPS alone does not constitute a “lawful admission,” for the purpose of satisfying this requirement. Associate Justice Kagan, who wrote for the Court, explained thath “[t]he TPS program gives foreign nationals nonimmigrant status, but it does not admit them. So the conferral of TPS does not make an unlawful entrant (like Sanchez) eligible under [section 245 of the INA] for adjustment to LPR status.”
This decision will prevent illegal aliens who entered the United States illegally and subsequently were granted TPS from receiving green cards without first departing the United States. An alien in this situation would likely be also subject to the three- and ten-year bars to admission as a result of their unlawful presence in the United States.
TPS is a humanitarian status that allows beneficiaries to remain and work in the United States if the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that conditions in their home country prevent a national’s safe return. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) only provides the DHS Secretary authority to designate countries TPS for the following temporary conditions: 1) Ongoing armed conflict (such as civil war); 2) An environmental disaster (such as earthquake or hurricane), or an epidemic; or 3) Other “extraordinary and temporary conditions”. The INA also provides the Secretary the authority to extend a TPS designation for up to 18 months for any country where conditions have not sufficiently improved. Despite the statutory requirement that TPS status be terminated upon resolution of the conditions or events that spurred a country’s designation, TPS for El Salvador is still in effect two decades later.
Washington, D.C.—Two imperiled plants threatened by fracking in northwest New Mexico took a big step forward toward protection today, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the Aztec gilia (Aliciella formosa) and Clover’s cactus (Sclerocactus cloverae) should be reviewed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The positive 90-day findings for both species comes in response to scientific petitions filed by WildEarth Guardians calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gilia and cactus under the Endangered Species Act. Both imperiled plants inhabit the Grater Chaco Landscape of northwestern New Mexico. The region’s public lands, cultural integrity, and biodiversity continue to be threatened by fracking and oil and gas extraction.
Clover’s cactus is found only in Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and San Juan counties in New Mexico, while the Aztec gilia is found only in San Juan County. Both plants only live in a geological formation called the Nacimiento Formation. Unfortunately for the plants, this formation is also the site of intensive fracking that has been authorized by the U.S. Bureau Land Management.
“The Bureau of Land Management has been rubber stamping fracking in this region for decades, running roughshod over the Greater Chaco Landscape and communities,” said Rebecca Sobel, Organizing Director for WildEarth Guardians, a member of the Greater Chaco Coalition. “If unfettered fracking is not reined in, the health of the landscape and these endemic species remains in grave peril.”
Previous Freedom of Information Act requests to the agency revealed internal strife, oil and gas companies failing to comply with their Conditions of Approval and monitoring requirements, and poor record-keeping in regards to transplanted Clover’s cactus and their survival rates. The Aztec gilia population has declined steeply since 1995.
“Up to this point, the Bureau of Land Management has failed in its duty to preserve rare plants in the Nacimiento Formation from oil and gas drilling and associated development,” said Lindsay Larris, Wildlife Program Director for WildEarth Guardians. “The goal of WildEarth Guardians’ listing petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to make sure these rare species don’t get thrown under the bus for fracking, but instead get the Endangered Species Act protections they need to survive and thrive.”
Since the ESA’s enactment, 99 percent of listed species have avoided extinction, and hundreds more have been set on a path to recovery. The law is especially important as a defense against the current extinction crisis; species are disappearing at a rate much higher than the natural rate of extinction due to human activities, resulting in what some scientists term a “biological annihilation.” According to a recent United Nations report, over a million species are currently at risk of extinction. Researchers estimate that, if not for ESA protections, 291 species would have gone extinct since the law’s passage in 1973.
AUSTIN, TX – (ERCOT) – The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking Texans to reduce electric use as much as possible today through Friday, June 18. A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions.
Generator owners have reported approximately 11,000 MW of generation is on forced outage for repairs; of that, approximately 8,000 MW is thermal and the rest is intermittent resources. According to the summer Seasonal Assessment of Resource Adequacy, a typical range of thermal generation outages on hot summer days is around 3,600 MW. One MW typically powers around 200 homes on a summer day.
“We will be conducting a thorough analysis with generation owners to determine why so many units are out of service,” said ERCOT Vice President of Grid Planning and Operations Woody Rickerson. “This is unusual for this early in the summer season.”
According to generation owners, the number of outages should decrease throughout the week.
Wind output for today is expected to be 3,500 to 6,000 MW between 3 and 9 p.m. This is roughly 1,500 MW lower than what is typically available for peak conditions. Wind output is expected to increase as the week goes on.
Today’s peak load forecast may exceed 73,000 MW. The peak demand record for June is 69,123 MW set on June 27, 2018 between 4 and 5 p.m.
Please take these simple actions to help reduce electric use:
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher – every degree of cooling increases your energy use by six to eight percent.
Turn off lights and pool pumps and avoid using large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers.
If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.
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