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Matter of H-G-G- "Contrary to Law" - Velasquez v. Barr, CA8

October 27, 2020 (1 min read)

NILA, Oct. 27, 2020 - "The Eighth Circuit joins the Sixth and Ninth Circuit’s in holding that beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status are eligible to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident. Hats off to plaintiff’s counsel, David Wilson and Brittany Sue Bakken, and amicus counsel, NILA’s Mary Kenney and AIC’s Kristin Macleod-Ball! Read the decision here." - "In these consolidated cases, Appellants (collectively, the government) appeal the district courts’ adverse grants of summary judgment. These cases present the same question of statutory interpretation: whether a noncitizen who entered this country without inspection or admission but later received Temporary Protected Status (TPS) may adjust her status to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), when an LPR application requires the noncitizen to have been “inspected and admitted” into the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a). The district courts in both cases decided the answer is yes: a TPS recipient is deemed “inspected and admitted” and so may adjust her status. After considering the statutory scheme at issue, we affirm. ... [B]ecause the statute unambiguously treats TPS recipients as “inspected and admitted” for purposes of § 1255(a)’s threshold requirement, Matter of H-G-G- [27 I. & N. Dec. 617 (AAO 2019)] is contrary to law. ... In sum, § 1254a(f)(4) provides that TPS recipients “shall be considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant” for purposes of adjusting their status under § 1255. 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(f)(4). Those in nonimmigrant status are necessarily inspected and admitted. By operation of § 1254a(f)(4), then, TPS recipients are considered “inspected and admitted” under § 1255(a), regardless of whether they entered the United States without inspection. USCIS’s contrary interpretation conflicts with the plain meaning of the INA and is therefore unlawful. See 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). We affirm the district courts’ judgments."