Today, June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration announced that it will offer deferred action to “DREAMers,” the undocumented young immigrants who came to this country as children and attended school in the United States. Under the new procedures, eligible immigrants who are currently in deportation or removal proceedings will be granted “deferred action” and allowed to remain in the United States. Young Immigrants who are not currently in removal proceedings will have to submit applications and demonstrate their eligibility for deferred action. If they can demonstrate economic necessity, the DREAMers will be entitled to work authorization and social security numbers. The deferred action is good for two years, and is renewable.
In order to qualify, the undocumented persons must be 15-30 years old and have entered the United States before age 16, must have been present in the U.S. for 5 continuous years as of June 15, 2012, must have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors, and must be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran.
Although clearly a step in the right direction, the Deferred Action grants no legal immigrant status on the beneficiary. It is not a path to citizenship or a green card. It does however remove the cloud of fear of deportation from many young people who have been raised and educated in the United States. And for most, it will give the legitimacy of work authorization and a social security number.
The USCIS has promised that the application for deferred action will be available within six weeks. Because of the serious consequences of voluntarily presenting yourself to the attention of the USCIS if you have a criminal record or other issue that make you deportable, removable or inadmissible, you should seek the advice of an experienced immigration lawyer before applying for deferred action.
Kalita Law Group attorneys will ensure that each case is evaluated for its own merits, and that proper evidence is submitted to prove economic necessity in order to be granted employment status. Watch this blog site for updates as we get them from USCIS.