Eligibility for DACA if entered US using forged passport and visa

Marco writes, "I entered the United States when I was 11 years old. I flew into DFW airport from Mexico City using fake documents. Like any other visitor, I had my picture taken and fingerprinted.  I am now wondering if I will be denied for DACA. I was 11 years old; is it still considered my fault or will I be able to apply?"

You will need a very good attorney and before you even consider applying for DACA, you will need to just pay for a consultation about this matter.  This is a very serious matter and needs to be handled with caution.  I am not sure how your fake and real documents match (I am assuming that your birth certificate has your real name and I wonder what names you used to go to school here), but you cannot risk applying for DACA as discovery of fraud will trigger arrest and deportation right away.  There are other consequences of using fake documents to enter the US, like not being able to adjust status in the US even if you are married to a US citizen, and being barred from entering the US for up to 10 years.  It is very unlikely that Congress will pass an amnesty for illegal immigrants and also let them get away with fraud.  Because of your fingerprints and photo in the database, it will be very difficult for you to get around this.  And unfortunately, you are a victim of your own family's stupidity and the fact that you were a kid at that time is not much help.  Maybe they were trying to help you, but in reality, they made your life worse.  I would say that you consult with a good lawyer who is an expert in fraud matters because an unscrupulous lawyer might ask you to apply just to get his fee for DACA. 

Am I immune from prosecution for using false SSN after DACA approval?

USCIS is not changing its position about the illegality of working without papers:  After highlighting the risks of working without proper employment authorization and/or using a fake or false Social Security number, I pointed to the clarification from USCIS that a DREAMer need not list his/her fake/false/stolen SSN.  Yet, once again, it is my responsibility to remind DREAMers and all other illegal immigrants that working without papers, lying about your immigration status, or using false documents are serious crimes that can result in fines, jail terms, deportation, and denial of immigration benefits (in other words, you may not be able to adjust your status).  While the authorities are less harsh on employers who knowingly hire or fail to do a good job of verifying legal status of employees due to the powerful business lobbies that make massive contributions to Republicans, nevertheless, they are also lawbreakers.

DACA puts both employers and DREAMers at risk of future prosecution:  In the latest clarification from the USCIS, the Agency merely directed DACA applicants to list only those SS# that were issued to them (whether the number was not authorized for employment or was authorized for employment in the past but that authorization has since expired) and it also clarified that employers of DACA applicants could provide them with proof of employment and/or copies of W-2 forms without fear of being charged with a crime.  The downside of doing that is that the employer is now admitting to have committed a serious federal crime.

Risk assessment of DACA for both undocumented immigrants and employers:  The New York Times has uncovered some very useful information on what it all means and what to do:
  1. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is telling The Times that simply because DACA work permits and deportation deferrals are being issued to DREAMers, there is no immunity from prosecution in the future.  In other words, if you have worked under the table and have a paper trail for it, be prepared to face the consequences in the future.
  2. DHS adds that employers who have knowingly employed undocumented immigrants and a criminal intent is clear can also be prosecuted.  The paperwork that they now provide to DREAMers maybe used against them.
  3. Attorneys are advising that DREAMers do not mention the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to their employers while requesting employment verification documents.  Legally speaking, this will protect the employers because then they can claim that they were not aware that the employee was not authorized to work.

Does a citation cause problems with DACA approval?

Carlos writes, "I was driving my friend home, with one of his friends, when I got pulled over due to a broken brake light. When the officer was asking everyone for their information, my buddy’s friend kept putting his hands in his pockets. The police officer took us out of the vehicle and searched us. Then the officer searched the car and found marijuana on the friend of my buddy. No one was arrested. Officer gave me a citation. I paid a $328 fine. I never get involved in drugs.  Do I have to mark "yes" on page 4, part 3, item 1 of Form I-821D?"

The answer is no.  Do you remember what the citation said?  It probably mentioned the broken light.  My guess is that the officer was just nice to you guys and let you off since nothing happened regarding your possession of drugs.  In other words, you were not detained or arrested or charged with a crime, so you are in the clear.  In any case, it was not you who had the drug in your possession, and you were unaware that the other individual was carrying contraband.

DACA for DREAMers under deportation proceedings

Trevor asks, "I came to US with my parents when I was 8 years old, we applied for political asylum and we were given Social Security numbers and working permits. However we were denied asylum and in 2001 we were issued a deportation notice. We stayed and have been working with the valid SS#'s and also paying taxes. But my working permit is expired. I have a valid driver license also.  Do you think I will have any problem when I file because of my expired working permit? I'm basically trying to renew my working permit and get the deportation order removed."

Your case is very complex and I would say that you should not act without an attorney.  While I don't have all the facts of your case, it appears that if you are not yet 31, you maybe eligible.  By the way, the day you were issued a deportation order, your SS# and working permit both became invalid so whatever you did was not legal (it is a common misunderstanding that if you once receive a Social Security number that is valid for employment, it is valid for life -- the fact that it is valid only as long as you have a proper authorization from DHS).  The reason you have to consult with an attorney is that by applying for DACA, while you maybe able to get a work permit and deferral for two years, you will also get on the radar screen of the government that you did not obey the deportation order.  You will need to think about the risks of that.

What can illegal immigrants expect from Obama during second term?

Previously I analyzed what you can expect from President Mitt Romney as far as immigration reform is concerned.  Not much, according to him, except that he may allow more green cards for highly educated professionals and may approve some kind of a reprieve for those undocumented immigrants who have been in the Military.  Other than, expect that there will be a lot of push for self deportation (the brilliant and the motivated have already left and others are planning to leave soon armed with excellent education, bilingual abilities, and ability to do business in a global economy) and visas for short-term work.

Since President Obama is guaranteed to win reelection, what can we expect from him in his second term?  This came up directly during his discussion with Univision hosts Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas.  On the issue of why Obama did not do more during his first term, he replied that Republican filibuster killed whatever he proposed.  In fact Republicans have been so combative and uncooperative with this president that it is amazing whatever he has been able to accomplish in his first term.  The way GOP is governing right now, gridlock is the standard operating procedure, and I don't see how that will change in the second term.

How much power does the president really have to pass immigration reform?  I have analyzed previously why Obama did not pass immigration reform during his first term, but he himself clarified by saying, “There’s the thinking that the president is somebody who is all powerful and can get everything done.  We have to have cooperation from all these sources (he was referring to Congress and Supreme Court) to get it done."  It is important to understand that just one senator can kill any bill and except for a very short period of time during which the Democrats had the 60 votes to kill a filibuster, and that is when they were dealing with other more pressing problems (remember that during this period the president did not take up even his most important initiative the Affordable Care Act).

So can Obama do more in his second term?  If you are illegally in this country and have a plan B, I would say take it.  If you can go back to another country (or your native country) and build a better life with your education and experience, it is best for your long-term future.  Most experts agree that the hope for an Reagan-era amnesty that will forgive all your crimes and grant you legal status with a path to citizenship is nothing but a dream perpetuated by Hispanic lobbyists and advocacy groups in order to keep their jobs.  The political will is there among the Democrats but they are operating in a very hostile climate.  By hoping against hope that things will change in the United States, you are wasting precious years of your life living in the shadows, in fear, unable to work in the job of your choice, breaking laws repeatedly, and stuck in the country.  Many of you cannot even engage in simple things like drive a car or go overseas for a vacation or take a decent job...and the list continues.  You might be so much better off living elsewhere with dignity and pursuing your dreams.  Trust me, the politicians will say whatever to get elected, but you have to be smart and watch out for yourself.

What will President Mitt Romney do about DREAMers?

Path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is a mirage:  Unless the apocalypse happens before election day, I am 100% positive that President Barack Obama will be reelected.  Then, the DREMers can hope that the DACA program will be renewed.  There is also hope that the president might provide further help to them and other undocumented immigrants already in the country by executive orders (though they are not permanent).  Comprehensive immigration reform will definitely not happen because Democrats are unlikely to have majorities in Congress to do that.  In any case, many immigrants fail to realize that at this time Americans are simply not united in their support for an amnesty to illegal immigrants.  About two in five Americans support giving a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants but at the same time, almost three in five supported the Arizona "show me your papers" laws.  The support for DACA was by a two-to-one margin.  Due to this conflicted positions among the minds of voters, and very strong opposition to any amnesty among the GOP lawmakers, the most that is likely is a version of Marco Rubio vision of a long-term non-immigrant visa for those who came as children and have excelled in education, served in the Military, and stayed away from criminal activities.  They will not be eligible for standard green cards.  It is also clear that all other illegal immigrants will continue to live the way they are.  Unfortunately many advocates of these causes are merely keeping themselves in business by lobbying for reform creating hope but the reality is that as much as some Democrats have the political will, there just aren't enough votes in Congress, and as American economy stays in a long-term slump, more and more Americans will oppose any addition to the pool of people eligible for government benefits like Social Security and Medicare.

Mitt Romney may kill DACA:  A lot of you have been wondering -- and some of you have been wondering so much that you have not even applied for DACA -- what will happen to the deferrals on deportations and the work permits were Romney to be elected to the White House.  I have hypothesized that while as the president, Mitt Romney will have to legal authority to shut down the program and invalidate deferrals and work permits.  Contrary to what many DREAMers wrongly believe, there are no guarantees that their authorization to work cannot be revoked or that they cannot be deported (in fact, as many people have been saying, deportations will be a lot easier with all the information about the applicants in the databases, including the fingerprints).  The probability of that happening is relatively low, though, unless the courts declare the program to be unconstitutional.  The political fallout from that will be huge, so Romney might simply let the program die.

Romney to emphasize self deportation and limited number of temporary visas:  Romney, despite being highly educated and having worked as a management consultant, who would otherwise be a stickler for details, has stayed away from providing details on immigration as well.  At the Univision meeting, he basically did not say much about what he would do but if I can parse his words, he is basically saying that he does not plan to order law enforcement officers, ICE, and Border Patrol to round up people, put them in jail, and then deport them.  Everyone knows that not only that sounds inhumane, despite widespread support for cracking down on illegal immigrants, America simply does not have the resources (both financial and manpower) to do that.  A more effective option is what Romney has called as "self deportation."  As funny as it sounds, it has already been going on for quite some time now.  As immigrants realize that they have no path to a legal status and will always be living in the shadows under the fear of being caught, they simply pack up and leave.  And the way the smartest employees leave a troubled company first, it is the most ambitious, driven, and successful immigrants who have self-deported and found excellent jobs as executives in their native countries now that they have had excellent education, are bilingual, and can easily do business around the world.  Romney captured that sentiment popular among many Americans, “I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home and that’s what I mean by self deportation.  People decide if they want to go back to their country of origin and get in line legally to be able to come to this country....I also believe we should have temporary work visas consistent with the needs of the employment community.”

Romney supports STEM green cards:  These sentiments are just a more politically correct version of GOP thinking that he shared in that secretly recorded video at a fundraiser in Florida.  At that event, he said,  "Gosh, I'd love to bring in more legal immigrants that have skill ... I'd like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. (he was referring to a plan to give an automatic green card to STEM graduates, meaning brilliant foreign-born students who graduate with a masters degree in science, technology, Math, or engineering from a US university) in the world and say, 'Come to America, we want you here.'  Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you're welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.  It's very strange."  Obviously this does not benefit any undocumented immigrants.

Update:  Romney announces that Obama DREAMer work permits will be honored by him but no word on whether the DACA program will be renewed.

No health insurance coverage to DACA approved DREAMers

The Obama Administration has clarified that DREAMers who receive a work permit and deferral on their deportation will not be entitled health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  While this maybe disappointing to many undocumented youth who want to start normal lives in the United States after they receive an EAD and a valid for Social Security number, but the reality is that many immigrants fail to realize that a DACA approval grants absolutely no legal status to them and they are still considered to be in the country unlawfully.  It is easy to forget that this process is nothing more than a stop-gap measure that puts a hold on their deportation and the future is very fragile.  A Romney presidency may fast track their deportation and if the lawsuit by immigration agents prevails, the approvals and employment authorization documents will become null almost immediately.

For the same reasons, the approved DREAMers are also ineligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Typically such benefits are available only to citizens and people legally present in the United States.

In addition to this, there are many other restrictions on approved DREAMers, including only extremely limited ability to travel outside the United States, driving privileges, and out-of-state tuition.  From my discussions with many DREAMers, they have already been planning for applying for loans, mortgages, life insurance, credit cards, etc. but my advice would be to hold off on these actions till they achieve legal status in the country.

DREAMers who used fake Social Security numbers are eligible

No need to inform USCIS if you did not have a valid for work Social Security Number:  Obviously there has been a lot of confusion whether DREAMers who have worked illegally using a fake or stolen Social Security number and if it should be reported on question 9 on form I-765.  We now have some guidance from USCIS.  The instructions now say that you should only write the number that was issued to you.  That also seems to imply that this is not a place for writing down your ITIN (even if you have been using it as a SS#).  Of course, the confusion still remains whether SSN that clearly say that they are not valid for employment if used for work are a problem or not but chances are that the agency understands that almost all of the applicants were probably never given work authorization or at least did not have proper authorization at the time of applying for DACA.  One thing is clear:  USCIS does not plan to deny you a work permit and deferral of deportation for two years just because you stole someone's identity or cooked up a number out of thin air or bought a number from a broke.r

Employers who employed immigrants without work authorization are protected from prosecution:  If this new information is read with another clarification from USCIS whether employers who illegally employed applicants who did not proper authorization to work will get into legal trouble if they provide documents to their employees as evidence to prove whatever, also means that the agency is well aware that many undocumented immigrants have been working and breaking the law (providing such documents is evidence of fraud by both employers and employees), USCIS is going to look the other way for the time being.  By seeming to condone this behavior for most employers (apparently it is still a problem for some employers for whom there is evidence of egregious violations of criminal statutes or widespread abuses.) USCIS is clarifying that if you were not convicted of breaking the law related to working without authorization, it does not want to know what you were doing.  In other words, employers who employed a few individuals without proper authorization here and there are are probably safe but those who built their business on the back of undocumented workers may be in trouble.


The conclusion:  My interpretation is that USCIS maybe taking a "Don't Ask Don't Tell" approach to this.  So don't tell us if you worked illegally and we will assume that you did not break any laws, even though we know that you have been working, some employers have been hiring you, and both of you broke the laws.  It could very well be that USCIS is planning to forgive working without proper papers and/or using a fake SS# since DACA does not confer any legal status on applicants but merely defers deportation for two years.   It is not clear if this will be a problem later on when their status maybe legalized through DREAM Act or any other action by Congress.

DACA approvals issued

In record time, the USCIS has issued its first round of deferrals and employment authorizations starting September 10, 2012.  According to the agency, applicants who submitted their applications around August 15, 2012 and had their fingerprints soon after (some DREAMers did a walk-in rather than wait for their appointment data), were cleared by the FBI in a matter of days.  If the cases were straightforward, and the evidence was solid, the agency took no time in granting its approval.

The implication is that if you think you meet all the eligibility criteria and have the paperwork required, then, you should apply for it as soon as possible.  Unless the agency gets clogged, it appears that the first set of EAD cards and deferrals approvals should be in the hands of early filers by end of September 30, 2012, if not earlier.  There have been cases of individuals who used fake SSN and they were also approved. 

Risks and rewards of applying in a fake SSN situation

Mira writes, "I am 22 and have lived in the US pretty much all my life illegally but I have only worked once for about 4 months. My attorney told me that if I have not been caught with it or had any problems with it that I shouldn't write down the fake social security number I used. I asked him if in the background check it would pop up that I have worked because I did use my real name and he said no. But I'm still feeling hesitant because like you have said over and over the government has a lot of sophisticated technology and I wouldn't want to jeopardize my case. So I don't know what to do."

USCIS is not perfect in its investigation:  You have genuine reasons to be afraid. I agree with your attorney that a job for just four months may never show up in the investigation by USCIS.  Or no one may bother to check.  As far as technology is concerned, yes, it is very sophisticated, but a lot of the times it is not used because government employees are too busy or lazy or careless or have deadlines.  It also depends on what kind of a paper trail your job created.  One could have worked for years doing the same and there maybe no paper trail in government computers, and on the other hand, you could simply get paid one dollar by a company, and the next thing you know the paper trail is all over and will never be deleted because of all the cheap memory available these days.  Depending on the company that you worked for, when you started work there, the information is entered into so many places and a lot of these details are eventually submitted to both federal and state agencies (e.g. all new hires are reported to both IRS and state, then the company pays social security and Medicare taxes, deducts income taxes and pays it to IRS and state, makes a deposit for unemployment insurance, etc.).

Being caught lying is a criminal offense and has consequences:  Now if you did not write down in your application the fake SSN you used, probability is very high that you would be approved and nothing will happen because your violation is minor compared to millions of illegal immigrants who have been going on with their lives with fake or forged documents and some have even stolen identities of legal residents and citizens.  Unfortunately, by not providing that information about the SSN you used to work when specifically asked by the USCIS, you would have lied to the US Government.  So if you were ever caught for this, not only would you be penalized for working without authorization, you will also be charged with perjury, something that is more seriously seen by both courts and prosecutors.  It could very well mean that apart from being charged with crimes, you could be deported, and barred from entering the country and receiving immigration benefits, either for some period of time or even forever.

Only a waiver by Congress can erase your crimes to receive immigration benefits:  Your attorney is probably thinking that you should take the risk, but I want you to weigh both the risks and the benefits.  You see, if you get approved all you will get is a work permit for two years.  Maybe a driver's license is valuable to you or you are in a state that you can get in-state tuition, but your situation is still going to be murky.  On the other hand, if you get caught, your dream is basically over.  In my opinion, your risks are much higher than the rewards.  The solution is to wait for several months, see if Obama gets reelected and there is more clarity on what will happen with immigration reform (unless Congress specifically forgives working without papers in the law that would be passed, individuals like you may not benefit from it), and then find out how other cases are being processed (I have heard from applicants who have worked illegally for years and they are happily submitting their applications along with even their W-2 forms using fake SS#).  If USCIS is going to look the other way, you can then apply; if not, you would have spared yourself a lot of headache.  I would be very surprised that USCIS is not aware of this (it is common knowledge that illegal immigrants are going on with their lives with fake documents) and does not have a plan to deal with it.

Financial success a barrier to work permit

Karen writes, "I meet all the eligibility requirements for DACA, but I am really worried that because I have quite significant assets I will not be eligible for the work permit. I will skip the details of how the net worth of a 26-year old illegal immigrant got to be over $100,000 (yes, I am already a homeowner who bought a small home in cash using my savings) but the bottom line is that since high school, rather than partying or shopping, I saved every penny I earned through all sorts of odd jobs.  I was hoping to save for college, but it turns out that my hard work paid off and I attended college for free on full scholarships, and whatever expenses I had, were paid for by my parents.  Right now I pay my property taxes and have also paid my federal and state income taxes using the ITIN that I have, though, I also work with a fake Social Security number.  Looking at where I am, I get depressed that after working so hard and saving every penny I could, I might get hurt now because I might not be able to demonstrate an economic necessity to work.  Even now, despite being a college graduate, I work as a waiter at two restaurants.  If I could drive, I would earn even more, and if I had an EAD, I might earn a lot more.  I don't know if I should move forward with the DACA process.  Please advise.  I am hoping that because of my paying all my taxes, I might be spared the penalty for working illegally."

Let me make it simple for you.  Wait for a few more months to watch what happens to other DREAMers, who get rejected/accepted and why.  You have some troublesome areas.  You have been working without authorization, which is a serious crime.  And yes, it is complicated, but you have to understand that the American people owe nothing to you and this act of their generosity is designed to help only the most vulnerable and desperate, rather than those who have it good, like you.  It was this logic that made it important to demonstrate an economic necessity in order to be given an authorization to work.

Since at this time we do not really know what is the benchmark for a work permit as far as assets and income are concerned, it is impossible to say if you will be denied on that basis.  In coming months we will find out as some decisions start to pour in.  In the meantime, you should start meeting with immigration and tax attorneys to get your house in order.  And please, work with a good attorney.  I have heard some unscrupulous attorneys advising clients to hide their assets by transferring it to others.  If you really want to live in this country legally, you will need to do the right thing.  Also, unlike some attorneys who want to make a quick buck by merely helping you with DACA, you want to work with a lawyer who will help you every step of the way.

Can applying for DACA put me in legal trouble?

Karl writes, "I am currently helping some students with their DACA applications and I am finding out that they are very afraid that applying for this might make things harder rather than easier in some ways. Can you advise?

Some individuals will simply not be eligible:  I share the concerns of your students that applying for this process is risky for some individuals, particularly those who have been working without authorization (and definitely for those who have engaged in criminal activities -- the list of what will make them ineligible is provided by the USCIS on its website).  As you might have read on my blog, a lot of these people have messy lives.  Many of them have worked using fake Social Security numbers or documents, others are working totally off the books, others have lied about their immigration status in the country, some have stolen identities, they have filed or received tax refunds with completely messed up Social Security numbers, and such.  Most of these crimes are considered to be felonies and punishable by prosecution, jail times, and deportation.

That is why unless someone meets all the requirements and has absolutely nothing illegal in their history (other than entering the country without inspection or overstaying their visas), they should meet with an excellent attorney to make sure that they will benefit from it and not get hurt.  Immigration benefits are highly complex legal matters and the whole process is cumbersome.  A small mistake at any stage can destroy everything.

Only individual case review can decide the best course of action:  I hope you realize that each case is unique and no generic advice is good enough.  These are just some of the things I have been able to research but I would suggest that you tell your students to consult a competent attorney for individual advice.  Only an attorney who can review individual situation can give specific advice.  While some of the generic advice like this may look discouraging, attorneys are able to find solutions to make it work.  So I hope this does not discourage your students but makes them aware of the risks and benefits and decide accordingly. It is fair to assume that, in general, criminals will be caught and punished but the deserving will be rewarded.

Will DACA work permit make me legal some day?

Myra writes, "How long would the temporary status be for? Is there a possibility that this status would then eventually turn into some kind of a permanent legal status like the ones enjoyed by those under temporary protected status?"

Uncertainty surrounds the future of DACA process:  Right now the deferral is for a period of two years, but it is still up in the air what happens if President Obama loses the 2012 election.  Theoretically, it could be withdrawn the first day Romney goes to work in the White House (at least that is the chatter on Right Wing Republican websites that Romney could shut down the whole program even before the first sets of EAD are mailed out by the USCIS; it is common for presidents to sign many executive orders on their first day of work and candidate Romney and his supporters have a long list).  He could even invalidate the permits that are issued (just in case some are mailed out before the inauguration) or just not deal with it at all and let it die after two years.  In the worst case, he could allocate even more resources for deportation (it is expected that the US Government will stick to its promise that whatever information is provided in USCIS Form I-821D will not be used against them in enforcing their illegal stay in the country).  At this time we do not know enough about Romney's policy on immigration, though, he has mentioned self-deportation and only some kind of amnesty for those who have served in the Military.

Only a comprehensive law can help all illegal immigrants:  Regarding this leading to a legal status, this actually should be a separate process.  Basically what President Obama has done is issue an executive order to US agencies that they should stop focusing their resources on removing individuals who meet certain requirements.  The politicians on both sides talk rhetorically in terms of 'immigration reform' and specifically for these people in terms of the DREAM Act.  As you might be aware the DACA process itself benefits only a small group of individuals who came as children.  So the only way to benefit each and every undocumented immigrant in the country will require comprehensive legislation that covers everyone.  At that point, it would probably not matter if you applied for a work permit under this plan or not. Maybe they will need to submit less paperwork because some of it will already be in the system, but that I think is trivial.

Are there any benefits from DACA if you are already working?

Kate writes, "My basic question is what are the benefits (aside from working legally under their own name) the DREAMers would gain from DACA? I understand that they would not actually be gaining legal status, so if they are currently working, what would they be gaining?"

Here are some of the benefits:
  1. Action on deportation will be deferred for two years (assuming President Obama wins reelection or Governor Romney decides to leave the order in place and then renews it as well) at a time.
  2. Ability to get a work permit that will allow them to get a valid for employment social security number (this may also open doors for credit, loans, and in-state tuition in some cases).  This will also allow them to come out of the shadows and work in professional jobs rather than wash dishes as many college graduates are currently doing.  In some states, they can also apply for drivers licenses.  While they are not being given any legal status, the EAD can be used as evidence that the holder is authorized to be in the country and that can prevent harassment by cops if they get stopped for any reason.
  3. When people work legally, it is good not just for them but for everyone.  Employers have to put them on the books and pay Social Security/Medicare taxes.  It is also expected that they will provide other benefits that maybe available to legal employees, like healthcare, life insurance, etc.  Right now, most of these people are working off the books and employers are not paying their share into the Social Security/Medicare funds.  Assuming that these people will eventually become legal some day, whatever contributions they make will also count towards their retirement benefits.
  4. Many individuals have told me that they will just feel a bit better about themselves being somewhat legal and being able to drive without fear.  They realize the lack of any legal status and its temporary nature, but still it is just a good feeling, I am told.