Helping families and corporations through the immigration maze!

On Friday June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama’s administration announced a new immigration policy Friday that will protect young illegal immigrants from deportation and allow them to obtain work permits.

Under this plan —  issued in a memorandum sent by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to the heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — illegal immigrants will avoid deportation for two years of “deferred action”  if they meet a series of qualifications.

According to a press release from the Department of Homeland Security, individuals must have been brought to the United States before they turned 16 and be younger than 30 to qualify for deferred action. They must have lived in the country for at least five consecutive years with no criminal history and they must have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED or served in the military.

This policy also enables illegal immigrants who meet these qualifications to apply for a work permit that will be good for two years and have no limits upon renewal. While this is not a path directly towards citizenship, it does allow an estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants to remain in the United States for extended periods without threat of deportation.

Individuals who qualify must meet these requirements: 

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum 
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States 
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.

Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.

While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty (60) days.

For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. The information in this correspondence should not be construed as legal advice for any one individual and we strongly recommend consulting legal counsel should you feel this statute affects you. 

Should you feel that this new directive affects you or members of your family, we strongly recommend that you contact our offices to schedule an appointment to discuss your matter.

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The immigration process is complex, let us help you get ready for the soon to come Deferred Action Application, you can start by filling out our Contact Form and becoming our client.

Act Now: See if you Qualify!