In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers one of your most frequently asked questions: Why can’t the President just give permanent residency to undocumented persons?
Only Congress may pass legislation that will create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants known as “amnesty.” The constitution of the United States limits the president’s authority to pass laws. The President may only pass executive actions to provide temporary relief when Congress is unwilling to act or there is a state of emergency. A popular belief that many people have is that the DACA program and the now defunct DAPA programs offer undocumented persons a sort of amnesty. This belief is incorrect. The current DACA program offers only temporary relief to undocumented persons living in the United States. It was designed to shield undocumented persons from deportation and provide them an opportunity to obtain temporary employment authorization.