The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that certain persons who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and who are eligible to apply for permanent resident status, may obtain permanent resident status while remaining in the United States, despite the fact that they entered the United States without permission.
In Flores v. USCIS, a Honduran citizen, Mr. Saady Suazo, entered the United States without inspection (EWI), and then applied for, and was granted, TPS, and has maintained TPS status ever since. Mr. Suazo then married a U.S. Citizen. Together they filed applications for Mr. Suazo to adjust status to Permanent Resident, without leaving the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied the application for permanent resident status because Mr. Suazo had entered the United States without inspection (EWI).
The Sixth Circuit, which addresses cases in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee, held that Mr. Suazo is eligible to adjust his status without leaving the United States, even though he had entered EWI.
Notably, the Court concluded by stating: “We are disturbed by the Government’s incessant and injudicious opposition in cases like this, where the only purpose seems to be a general policy of opposition for the sake of opposition.”
It is not clear whether the Government will request a rehearing of the case before all of the judges of the Sixth Circuit or request a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.
On March 23, 2012, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced that DHS will designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Syrians currently present in the United States. Napolitano stated that “conditions in Syria have worsened to the point where Syrian nationals already in the United States would face serious threats to their personal safety if they were to return to their home country.”
Within the next several days, DHS will provide further guidance about TPS eligibility requirements and registration procedures.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months for eligible persons from El Salvador who are present in the United States. Persons from El Salvador who are currently in TPS status must re-register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on or before March 12, 2012.
TPS re-registrants are eligible to apply for a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which will be valid until September 9, 2013.
If you have any questions about TPS or the procedures required to re-register, please contact a qualified immigration attorney.