By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 20, 2016 | 4:44 AM EDT
This is when Verrilli explained that these words have a different meaning in the "immigration world."
"The reason I had no problem writing it is because that phrase, 'lawful presence,' has caused a terrible amount of confusion in this case; I realize it," said Verrilli. "But the reality is ... it means something different to people in the immigration world. What it means in the immigration world is not that you have a legal right to be in the United States, that your status has changed in any way. That you have any defense to removal. It doesn't mean any of those things, and it never has ... and so at that fundamental level, we are not trying to change anybody's legal status on the immigration—"
Roberts interrupted: "Lawfully present does not mean you're legally present in the United States."
"Right," said Verrilli. "Tolerated—"
Roberts interrupted again: "I'm sorry ... just so I get that right ... Lawfully present does not mean you're legally present."
"Correct," said the solicitor general.
Justice Alito then asked if it was true that those granted this unique status "may lawfully work in the United States."
"That's right," said the solicitor.
"And how is it possible," asked Alito, "to lawfully work in the United States without lawfully being in the United States?"
Millions are doing it, the solicitor general assured the justice.
"There are millions of people, millions of people other than DAPA recipients about who this is true right now," said Verrilli. "And this gets to the point of why their [the complaining states] reading of Section 1324 is completely wrong."
But Alito focused on the plain English.
"I'm just talking about the English language," Alito said. "I just don't understand it. ... [H]ow can it be lawful to work here but not lawful to be here?"
That is a good question. But the only way the court itself can answer it correctly is if five justices agree on the truth.
Thank You Mr Jeffrey and CNS.