On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions including, but not limited to, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) and an extension of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In his announcement, President Obama said that he was announcing these executive actions because Congress failed to pass a bill for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Shortly after the President’s announcement, the White House issued a press release stating that, “only Congress can finish the job. The President said he will continue to work with Congress on a comprehensive, bipartisan bill—like the one passed by the Senate more than a year ago—that can replace these actions and fix the whole system.”
DAPA and DACA are not substitutes for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We still need Congress to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
5 Reasons Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is Still Necessary
- Our goal is Comprehensive Immigration Reform. DAPA and the expanded DACA programs are a step in the right direction, but they are not Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We should not lose sight of our ultimate goal.
- DAPA and DACA programs do not provide a path to legal permanent residence.
- DAPA and DACA are not a permanent solution. The new programs provide temporary protection from deportation and work authorization for 3 years. After the 3 years have lapsed, the new President will determine if the programs will be renewed.
- Although up to 5 million people may benefit from DAPA and DACA, another 6 million do not.
- Both Democrats and Republicans have said that our immigration system is broken. DAPA and DACA do not fix the shortcomings of the system. Additional executive orders will not fix the shortcomings of the system. Only Comprehensive Immigration Reform will do that.
What should you do?
Call your local Congressperson and tell them that we need Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Anti-immigrant constituents are calling their Congressperson every day. As lawyers and advocates, we need to call our local Congressperson and tell them that the time for Comprehensive Immigration Reform is now!
Find your Representative
Find your Senator
White House Press Release and Fact Sheet issued November 20, 2014