Velasquez v. Barr, No. 19-1148 (8th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A noncitizen who enters this country without inspection or admission, but who later receives Temporary Protected Status (TPS), may adjust her status to Lawful Permanent Resident because a TPS recipient is deemed inspected and admitted for purposes of 8 U.S.C. 1255(a).
The Eighth Circuit held that section 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 section 1255. The court explained that those in nonimmigrant status are necessarily inspected and admitted. By operation of section 1254a(f)(4), then, TPS recipients are considered "inspected and admitted" under section 1255(a), regardless of whether they entered the United States without inspection. Therefore, USCIS's contrary interpretation conflicts with the plain meaning of the INA and is therefore unlawful.