The Supreme Court ruled this week that certain immigrants in temporary protected status (TPS) cannot get green cards in the United States.

Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says the decision highlights the need for Congress to enact immigration reform legislation.

Yale-Loehr says: 

“The Supreme Court unanimously held today that recipients of TPS who entered the U.S. unlawfully cannot obtain a green card in the U.S. The decision affects many TPS holders from a dozen countries such as El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti. Overall, over 300,000 people have TPS status. Some TPS recipients, such as the plaintiff in this case, have been here for over 20 years.” 

“Today’s Supreme Court’s decision revolved around a technical distinction between ‘inspection’ and ‘admission’ in U.S. immigration law. The Court noted that Congress could fix the problem through legislation. Indeed, such a bill is pending in Congress.” 

“The decision highlights the need for Congress to enact immigration legislation to fix our broken immigration system.”


Shannon Gleeson, associate professor of labor relations, law and history at the Industrial and Labor Relations School, is an expert on temporary protected status and migrant rights. 

Gleeson says:

“The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the government can block immigrants with temporary protected status from applying for green cards if they entered the country unlawfully. The decision could also have implications for Dreamers unless Congress paves a permanent lawful status for those undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as kids.”