Victory! Supreme Court Blocks Illegal-Alien Legalization

Press Releases

June 7, 2021

Agrees with IRLI that the law allows no such transformation

WASHINGTON—Today the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Congress did not reward illegal border-crossing by providing a pathway for illegal aliens to become legal. The plaintiffs, illegal aliens who were granted temporary protected status (TPS) because of a disaster in their home country, had sought to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent resident. The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case urging the result the Court reached.

Justice Kagan, writing for the Court, found that TPS status cannot be used to work a transformation from illegal to legal. Rather, the status jump that plaintiffs claimed as their right rests on a strained and untenable reading of the statutory scheme. Though Congress did extend TPS to certain illegal aliens out of humanitarian concern, today the Court upheld the principle that even those illegal aliens, having never been admitted, by law are not eligible for adjustment to permanent residence and citizenship.

“Thankfully, today the Court declined to water down the law, but instead maintained the standard that illegal entry into our country will not be tolerated, much less rewarded,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “We are seeing right now what happens when deliberate non-enforcement sends the opposite message: an engineered surge, crisis and chaos, at the border. We are pleased that the Court refused to add to that crisis today.”

The case is Sanchez v. Mayorkas, 20-315 (Supreme Court).

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