You are probably aware of President Obama’s announcement of “deferred action” for young people who came to the U.S. from abroad as children, and have lived in unlawful status for years. Best known as “Deferred Action for Dreamers,” this policy provides two years of deferred action and work authorization for these individuals. It’s important that the program be communicated accurately to those who might benefit. Accordingly, we are providing this short summary of the provisions. Please get in touch with us if you know of any “DREAMers” who could use our help to apply.
The application process. Individuals who qualify will apply for a benefit known as “deferred action” through USCIS. As a part of that application, the individual will also apply for work authorization. However, the program has not been implemented yet, so individuals who might qualify are advised to FILE NOTHING until the government releases application procedures within the next 60 days.
Given the complexity of the program and eligibility criteria, we strongly recommend that individuals who think they qualify consult with an attorney. Do not use a notario or anyone else who is not authorized and licensed to practice law.
Basic criteria: There are five basic criteria, setting apart the young, achievement-oriented DREAMers with clean records, as follows:
- Age: The DREAMer must have entered the United States while under the age of 16 and be at least 15 years of age. There are no exceptions to the minimum age requirement. The DREAMer must be less than 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012.
- Presence: The DREAMer must have been continuously present in the United States for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and be present in the U.S. on that same date.
- School/Service: The DREAMer must be in school, graduated from high school, have a GED, or be in armed forces or been honorably discharged from the armed forces.
- Crimes: The DREAMer must not have any felony convictions, “serious” misdemeanors, or more than two non-serious misdemeanors.
- Currently Unauthorized: It appears that a young person must be unauthorized to be able to apply for deferred action for DREAMers. Even young people who are in removal proceedings or who have been ordered removed already may be able to apply.
The overall policy of this program is to give “DREAMers” a chance at living the American dream. This program is still in the planning stage, however, and the government has announced a 60 day implementation period. We stand ready to assist, so please disseminate this summary widely. Thank you.
The Staff of Rose Immigration Law Firm