The White House announces “DEFERRED ACTION” for young immigrants that entered the United States illegally, under the age of 16 and who meet certain other criteria. The Administration cited the youth’s unlikely public safety threat. Many have, and will continue to argue that the actual purpose of this action is the upcoming November 2012 election. I am not going to get into the politics of the executive order – only provide information as it becomes available.
So many have contacted me over the past 12 years asking about this issue and each time all I can do is shake my head and let them know about the Dream Act. Well now there appears to be a 2 year fix for children, brought into the country by their parents. Many of these children (now adults) are unable to fathom being anything but an American; yet they live under the very constant and real threat of deportation (to a country they do not know).
So, here we go…. --
What is DEFERRED ACTION?
A Presidential Executive Order – granting “discretionary determinations to defer removal action”. In English please; on a case by case basis, based on evidence presented, an individual may be allowed to stay in the United States, not quite in a legal status – but not really considered illegal either. This DEFERRED ACTION does not grant “lawful status”. If an individual is granted deferred status they may apply and receive employment authorization for the period of the deferred status if they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment” [watching for details on how to demonstrate this].
Who is eligible?
- Individuals brought to this country by their parents under the age of 16.
- Resided in the U.S. for at least five years preceding 06/15/2012 AND be present in the U.S. on 06/15/2012.
- Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED or are honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. Service.
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, and multiple misdemeanors or otherwise pose a security threat to the U.S. [Background checks will be conducted]
- Not currently be over the age of 30.
What is the petition process?
It is not yet been released. Will be watching and provide once it is made available.
Is this a path to citizenship or permanent residency (green card)?
No. Congress must, through the legislative process, pass a law for this to occur.
Is this DEFERRED ACTION permanent?
No – it is for 2 years, at the end of 2 years application would need to be made for a renewal of 2 more years. They will be granted in 2 year increments. Employment Authorization would also have to be renewed at the same time.
Can someone subject to final order of removal apply?
Yes. Again, we are waiting for the procedures to be published.
What if I am about to be removed from the U.S. by I.C.E. and believe I am eligible for DEFERRED ACTION?
Call the Law Enforcement Support Centers hotline at 1-855-448-6903 or ICE Office of the Public Advocate at 1-888-351-4024 let them know you are about to be deported and believe you are eligible for DEFERRED ACTION. As always when calling these hotlines, be persistent and if the first line person does not know what you are talking about request to speak to a supervisor.
If I receive DEFERRED ACTION will I be able to travel out of the United States?
USCIS is exploring this issue.
I am expecting to have process outlines on Monday and as more detail becomes available, I will do my best to post. This is a bit sketchy as it was just released this morning at 11am.
I am available to discuss this with you if the need should arise. You can reach me through my office 972.442.4244.. –Lori