September 28, 2021

Volume XI, Number 271

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September 28, 2021

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September 27, 2021

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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Argument on Status Adjustment for Temporary Protected Status Recipients

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral argument on whether individuals who initially entered the United States without permission and subsequently were granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to adjust to lawful-permanent-resident status without leaving the United States. Sanchez v. Mayorkas, No. 20-315. If the individuals must leave the United States, they can become subject to three or 10 year bars to admission.

The brief for the government was filed by the Department of Justice in December 2020, near the end of the Trump administration. Despite the Biden administration’s stated pro-immigration stance, in this case, the government is defending the position that TPS is not a “lawful admission,” effectively limiting the ability of many individuals in TPS to adjust status in the United States.

During oral arguments, the Supreme Court Justices appeared skeptical that approval of TPS could be deemed a lawful admission under current statutory interpretation but, as law, Chief Justice John Roberts noted, the government seemed to be continually “underselling” its case. Indeed, in response to questioning from Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the government said that it would just as soon have the Court decide that their interpretation of the statute was reasonable, but not unambiguously correct. The government also indicated it could change its interpretation in the future.

While President Joe Biden has voiced support for individuals in TPS, and has called for permanent status for these individuals, a decision favorable to the government will shut the door to green cards for thousands of TPS holders for now.

A decision is expected by June 2021.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 110
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Michael H. Neifach Jackson Lewis Employment visa Lawyer border security matters attorney
Principal

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw...

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Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer
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Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

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Otieno B. Ombok, Jackson Lewis, I9 Compliance Lawyer, immigrant visa petitions Attorney
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Otieno B. Ombok is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Mr. Ombok specializes in all aspects of employment-based non-immigration and immigrant visa petitions. He also advises on I-9 compliance issues as well as outbound immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues such advises both U.S. and foreign employers with regard to immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues pertaining to healthcare visas for medical professionals,...

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