Ep. 16 Why Can’t The President Just Give Permanent Legal Status?

Raw Transcript:

Introduction: You ask we answer your immigration questions. Simple. And now your host immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick.

Jacob: Thank you guys for joining me again on another quick episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer. Questions, emails, messages on our Facebook page. It’s been great so far. Keep sending those questions. We try to answer them. Again, we’re focusing on our deferred action executive announcement by the President, few questions that came out to us.

So people ask why can’t just the President give permanent legal status and green cards and just get it over with. Why? Well, the new DAPA and the DACA programs and everything that he’s done before, they’re all temporary. It’s very important for you to understand that. There’s a lot of scams out there promising people citizenship and all that kind of stuff. It’s designed to pretty much stop the fear of removal and intimidation and people think they can be deported and be separate from their family members.

The executive branch can defer action effectively stopping removal. But the thing is people have to understand that only Congress can determine who’s illegible for green cards or citizenship – the President cannot do that. He can take executive action to make things temporary better but he can’t make somebody a citizen. So that’s really important for people to understand that it’s not a permanent solution but it’s already a good start of course.
And people say, well, you know, it is amnesty but it’s not. It’s not amnesty because they’re just temporary. Temporary measures and they don’t meet any of the technical or political definitions of an amnesty. I mean if you look … amnesty is pretty much a governmental pardon often given to people or groups convicted of crimes and it presents forms of forgiveness in a way. But that’s not what it is. He’s just giving them … giving these people a temporary right to stay here.

What happened in 1986, the program that legalized people, was often referred by its support as an amnesty. And people who were in this country and lawfully could come forward, proven that they met all requirements and they got a green card. And so the term amnesty became synonymous with immigration critiques saying that, you know, he’s giving them a free ride but it’s not. This is really what’s happening is just a temporary program and just giving people a right to stay here for three years and then we’ll see what happens afterwards. But this is, by all no means, going to solve people’s problems.

Another question I get is are DACA and DAPA recipients are going to be eligible for public benefits such as security and all that kind of stuff. They’re not going to be eligible for federal public benefits and that was clear when the President announce – including any federal, financial aid, food stamps and housing benefits, you know. The critiques of the program say, oh, they’re going to suck our money and they’re going to drain the economy. No. They’re not eligible.

Whether they’re going to be eligible for state benefits like driving license and Allstate tuition that will depend on different state of course. But, you know, as far as I’m concerned, as far as I know, they will be eligible for driving license and pretty much it. But all these other benefits they’re not eligible for them so that should be clear. And people who are against these programs they say that they are.

So this is some things that people are being kind of curious about recently. So it’s not an amnesty and it’s temporary but it’s good. It’s a good start and then … and I hope that it’s going to happen soon.

Thanks for listening. Any more questions feel free to email me or send us on our Facebook page askanimmigrationlawyer.com. Look forward to seeing you at our next episode. Thank you.

Closing: Thank you for listening to the Ask My Immigration Lawyer Podcast, the show that’s dedicated to answering your immigration questions. Simple as that. See you next week for another round of questions and much needed answers.