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Supreme Court rules against undocumented immigrant seeking lawful residency

Supreme Court building
Posted at 10:25 AM, Jun 07, 2021

The Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that an undocumented immigrant that had been granted temporary protected status could not obtain lawful permanent entry.

The high court's decision on Monday is the second unanimous decision it has released on immigration in the current cycle of rulings.

Justice Elena Kagan delivered the unanimous ruling for the court in the case Sanchez v. Mayorkas.

The case decided on Monday involved Jose Santos Sanchez, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the U.S. without authorization in 1997.

While he and his wife are currently protected against deportation back to El Salvador because the U.S. does not deport people back to nations in crisis, Sanchez and his wife were seeking to become lawful permanent residents in the U.S.

In her ruling, Kagan wrote that lawful permanent residency requires "admission" into the U.S., which the court defined as “the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.”

Because Sanchez did not enter the U.S. lawfully, the court said that he could not qualify for long-term protected status.

Earlier this month, the high court issued a unanimous ruling on questions surrounding the asylum-seeking process.

The Supreme Court says it will release more rulings on Thursday. The court is expected to release landmark rulings on the Affordable Care Act, abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.