Deferred Action for DREAMers

In June, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would offer deferred action for two years to certain young people who came to the U.S. as children and meet other eligibility criteria. Deferred action does not grant a person lawful status, but it does prevent them from being removed from the United States. People granted deferred action are eligible for Employment Authorization.

The application process will begin on August 15, 2012. At that time, the government will issue complete details about the application procedure. However, it has already announced that people who meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply for deferred action:

  1. Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the U.S. before reaching his/her 16th birthday;
  3. Has continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Was physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012, and at the time of application for deferred action;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or lawful immigration status expired before June 15, 2012;
  6. Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
  7. Has not been convicted of a felony, a "significant misdemeanor," three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

If you believe you might be eligible for this program, you should consult with an immigration lawyer before applying. While the criteria appear to be simple, there are many potential pitfalls in applying for deferred action.

Categories: Immigration News