Supreme Courts Appears Unlikely to Allow Holders of Temporary Protected Status to Seek Adjustment of Status - Immigration News for April 23, 2021

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Peri B. Edelman | April 23, 2021

Supreme Courts Appears Unlikely to Allow Holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Seek Adjustment of Status

The issue before the Supreme Court is whether approximately 400,000 immigrants who hold TPS from 12 different countries such as El Salvador, Yemen, Honduras, and Syria could adjust their status to legal permanent residence also known as a “green card.” Under TPS, the USCIS has allowed those recipients to stay here due to unsafe conditions is their home countries.

Lower courts are divided about whether those who entered the country illegally meet a requirement of the law whether they were “inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States” which is required to become a legal permanent resident in the United States.

Given the fact the most holders of Temporary Protected Status entered the United States without being “inspected and admitted or paroled into the United States,” the Supreme Court is likely to leave it Congress to change the law.

U.S. Adds 116 Countries to its “Do Not Travel” Advisory List

The U.S. State Department has added at least 116 countries this week to its “Level Four: Do Not Travel” advisory list, putting the UK, Canada, France, Israel, Mexico, Germany, and others on the list, citing a “very high level of COVID-19.” 

 On Monday, the State Department said it would boost the number of countries receiving its highest advisory rating to about 80% of countries worldwide. 

ICE, CBP to stop using “Illegal alien” and “Assimilation” Under New Policy

U.S. immigration enforcement agencies will stop using terms such as “alien,” “illegal alien” and “assimilation” when referring to immigrants in the United States. Now, “alien” will become “noncitizen or migrant,” “illegal” will change to “undocumented,” and “assimilation” will change to “integration.” 

Phony Immigration Attorney Receives Sentence of 20 Years in Federal Prison

On April 13, 2021, Senior U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington sentenced Elvis Harold Reyes, who portrayed himself to be an immigration attorney and was never an attorney, to 20 years and 9 months in federal prison for mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Reyes’ sentence was based on a scheme in which he posed as an immigration attorney and filed hundreds of fraudulent asylum applications.

Reyes filed fraudulent immigration applications in the victims’ names, seeking asylum relief and withholding-of-removal protections provided for under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. In doing so, Reyes falsified answers to questions in the asylum applications—fabricating stories about threats, persecution, and the applicants’ fear of returning to their native countries. The victims were not informed of the answers Reyes provided on their behalf. In addition, Reyes did not tell the victims about the legal, administrative, and other immigration-related consequences that might follow from filing for asylum relief or for Convention Against Torture protection.

Unscrupulous consultants and attorneys frequently take advantage of vulnerable immigrants coming to the U.S. Immigrants seeking visas and green cards must avoid these scams to prevent long-term consequences to their immigration status. Many clients have come to my office as victims of these schemes from actual attorneys.  I have been flabbergasted over the years by this behavior.  It is a travesty.   

Former President George Bush Continues to Press for Immigration Reform

Former President George W. Bush said Sunday that Congress should tone down its "harsh rhetoric about immigration" and pass comprehensive reforms, which he bemoaned he could not get through when he was president. The former president made immigration a significant part of his second-term agenda, giving a major 2006 speech laying out his vision for a strict but welcoming immigration system. In 2007, the former president unsuccessfully pushed for an overhaul of the US immigration system and has stated that failure to act on immigration is one of the great regrets of his presidency.  

When I was a young attorney, an acquaintance, who had a significant rank in the Republican party, asked if I would provide Immigration Reform suggestions for the George W. Bush 2000 Presidential platform. A couple of my recommendations were used in that campaign. I was honored to attend the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000. 

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Peri B. Edelman is an experienced attorney who practices Immigration Law in New York City. She provides immigration legal services, legal counsel on immigration matters, and legal support for court cases related to Immigration. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Peri B. Edelman is admitted to the New York and Connecticut Bars, U.S. Eastern District Court of New York, U.S. Southern District Court of New York, and United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.