Lawsuit Aims To Help Some Temporary Protected Status Holders Get Green Cards

February 22, 2018

An immigrant rights group is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for denying some Temporary Protected Status holders the chance to get green cards.

The class-action lawsuit filed by the American Immigration Council aims to force the government to apply a legal interpretation currently used in Arizona.

In 2017, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that when the government gives someone Temporary Protected Status, it creates a pathway for them to become a lawful permanent resident, even if they first entered the U.S. illegally.

The American Immigration Council filed suit Thursday to have the same standard applied across the country. The lawsuit argues that receiving Temporary Protected Status makes a person lawfully present in the U.S., and they are therefore eligible for a green card, if a family member or employer petitions for them.

Data from the Pew Research Center show there are about 320,000 people living in the country under Temporary Protected Status.

The Trump administration has said it will end Temporary Protected Status for people from four of the 10 countries that currently have the designation, including El Salvador, which accounts for roughly 61 percent of all people with Temporary Protected Status.