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Why Don’t DACA Recipients Just Apply for Citizenship?

Let’s go over this one more time

Let’s go over this one more time — are DACA recipients just lazy and don’t want to do the legwork to obtain citizenship? NO!

How do you become a citizen of the United States?

  1. You are born here.
  2. At least one of your parents is a U.S. citizen regardless of where you were born.
  3. You legally enter the country on a visa and then apply for a green card to become a permanent resident after five years (or three years if you are married to a U.S. citizen).
  4. You are granted asylum. An asylum applicant must file for asylum within one year of entering the U.S. After one year you can apply for a green card.

DACA recipients were not, by definition, born here.

They did not legally enter the country (regardless of whether they were too young to know or understand this point).

They generally do not fall under the criteria for asylum and they did not file within the one year period in any instance. There are exceptions but if you’re not granted asylum, you’ll be deported.

To do it through marriage, you have to leave the country and apply for a visa. Unfortunately, if you have spent more than one year as an illegal alien here, you’ll need to spend ten years outside the United States before returning. There are various exceptions but the only way to try for one of these is to leave and hope for the best.

The one loophole that’s been tried is known as Advance Parole which allows a non-citizen who is in the country legally — or who is a DACA recipient — to file paperwork so that they can travel abroad and then be assured of re-entry. The argument goes that when the DACA recipient re-enters the country, they have now been legally admitted “with inspection” and so can now apply for a green card. It seems this has made more money for lawyers than actually done anything for illegals.

What are their options?

  1. Leave and start a new life in their country of origin.
  2. Try to get asylum in Canada.
  3. Hang out here and hope DACA is reinstated in some form to allow them to continue to have a work permit. If it isn’t, then try to keep a low profile to avoid deportation.

What are the options that the President has to grant citizenship —

NONE! Zip! Zero! NADA! From the Washington Post back in 2011

In reality, the president does not possess this authority, as unauthorized presence in the U.S. is a civil violation, not a criminal one. Presidential pardon power only applies to federal crimes, described as “offenses against the United States” in the Constitution. As such, “a pardon can’t make someone a citizen or lawful resident,” explains John Harrison, a law professor at the University of Virginia. “Deportation is not a criminal proceeding, it’s a civil process that removes from the country someone who is not entitled to be here.”

Only Congress can change the terms for granting immigration status or citizenship, whether for all immigrants or a subset of people. And that’s why an immigration overhaul has stalled for so many years.

Of course, we also know that Obama created DACA from a memo specifying ‘prosecutorial discretion’ for illegals under certain circumstances. And, of course, all he did was create more of a mess by kicking the can further down the road.

Regardless of the solution you support, President Trump is not a kick the can down the road kind of President! #MAGA one way or another.

Mark Rosneck

Written by Mark Rosneck

"Vell, Mark's just zis guy, you know?"

As NWC has said -- "Doing the work not even illegal Mexicans would do."

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