A Very Important Immigration Decision from the 6th Circuit

“This case illustrates the archaic and convoluted state of our current immigration system.”

So begins a very important June 5th decision from the 6th Circuit, which has authority over immigration cases in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

In Flores, et al. v. USCIS, et al.  the ruling is that border crosser immigrants with Temporary Permanent Status (TPS) can apply for permanent resident status in the US.  This ruling has huge, positive effects.

The case focuses on Suazo, a Honduran national with TPS since 1999 who entered without inspection in 1998.

Suazo married a American citizen and applied for a green card.

This case was denied by Immigration, as the current Immigration Act disallows immigrants not inspected and admitted into the US to apply for adjustment of status (green card applications in US).

Suazo sued in federal court under the Administrative Procedures Act.

The case ended up in the 6th Circuit.

The Court held that those in TPS status are like those inspected and admitted, and therefore may apply for green cards in America, although they entered without permission.

The 6th Circuit also wrote that the word “alien” is offensive and demeaning and urged Congress to eliminate it from the law.

Notably, the Court scolded the Government lawyers by stating that Suazo:

 “would have to leave the United States, be readmitted, and then go through the immigration process all over again.  This is simply a waste of energy, time, government resources, and will have negative effects on his family—United States citizens.  We are disturbed by the Government’s incessant and injudicious opposition in cases like this, where the only purpose seems to be a general policy of opposition for the sake of opposition.”


Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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