SCOTUS rules no green card entry for TPS if entered illegally

CBS 13's April Hettinger addresses the options for getting permanent residency

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The U.S. Supreme Court made a big decision on eligibility for green cards in the United States. 

In a unanimous 9-0 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court is standing against illegal entries ruling that people on the Temporary Protected Services (TPS) will not be eligible to apply for Lawful Permanent Residency (LPR) if they entered the country without permission.

"Even if you have TPS, this ruling did not revoke your TPS status. No. All this ruling said is that TPS does not equal admission and inspection," said Sebastian Sanchez, immigration attorney for Sanchez Law Group.

Another immigration attorney who used to do consultations in Yuma, James Winings, now works with Maria Jones Law Firm in Phoenix dealing with a number of immigration cases. He weighs in on the Supreme Court's order.

"It narrows the pathway to residency for certain individuals, and it makes it a little more difficult for some and it makes it for others almost extremely difficult," Winings explained.

TPS isn't the only pathway to residency. There is a way around getting a green card but there are certain requirements.

"Because you do not quality with the TPS by itself, you could, however, qualify if we do X, Y and Z. Some people will be able to show that X, Y and Z and unfortunately, some people will not," Sanchez stated.

If they don't qualify, they will not be granted residency but can still keep their TPS. The easiest way to get a green card is to marry a U.S. citizen, but this new ruling changes certain aspects of the policy.

"There are many people who live here unlawfully and they cannot become legal residents even though they are married to citizens because they have some kind of disqualification that complicates their case," Winings said. "This Supreme Court case has to deal with one of those lists."

Rep. Tim Dunn (R-13) feels that this will potentially minimize the number of illegal crossings.

"This will send that message that those that are coming across illegally, if you really do want to get asylum, you need to come through legally, and I support that, so I applaud the Supreme Court in its actions," Rep. Dunn explained.

Rep. Paul Gosar is in favor of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.

“Today’s unanimous Supreme Court decision affirms that if you enter our country illegally you cannot abuse your temporary protective status to later become a permanent resident.  Even the liberals on the court all recognized that those who entered our country illegally should not be rewarded by qualifying for lawful resident status"

Rep. Paul Gosar, U.S. House of Representatives

TPS is only offered to people coming from countries experiencing extreme violence or a natural disaster like in El Salvador, Honduras, Haiti or Nicaragua.

Tonight at 10 p.m., 13 On Your Side's April Hettinger explains the Supreme Courts ruling and what this means for asylum seekers.

As Seen on TV / Immigration / Local News / News / Yuma County

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