Syracuse Immigration Attorney, Immigrant Farm Workers Call Pres. Obama's Order a First Step

Nov 21, 2014

A Syracuse-based immigration attorney says President Obama’s executive order to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation is a good first step…but could have gone farther.

Syracuse immigration attorney Jose Perez talks to WAER Friday.
Credit Scott willis / WAER News
 Jose Perez says even though the action is based on family unity, it doesn’t help everyone.  

Under the president’s executive order, undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and have children born in the U.S. would get a reprieve from deportation and be eligible to apply for work permits.  Perez says he’s already getting calls from clients asking if they qualify.  

Immigrant farmworkers are among those who say they appreciate the president's efforts, but the executive order won't help many of them.  

Naturally, republicans in congress are furious, and say the president’s action all but kills any future chances for comprehensive immigration reform.  Immigration attorney Jose Perez wonders wants to ask them why.

"This [executive order] cannot stop anything because what it gives Congress at this point, and what it gives the Senate at this point, is more incentive to act and do something.  Fix the problem.  You know there's a problem.  Fix it."

Perez says there’s already an agricultural jobs act pending in congress that could be a step in that direction…but no action has been taken.