On June 15, 2012, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Janet Napalitano announced that young people, who were brought to the United States through no fault of their own before the age of 16 and who meet certain other criteria, will be eligible for deferred action.
“Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said Secretary Napolitano. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
Under the new policy, “deferred action” only makes the individual eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of the deferred action and can be terminated at any time at the discretion of USCIS/ICE. It is not a path to citizenship or lawful permanent resident status. This process is not yet in effect and requests are not being accepted at this time.
Criteria for eligibility:
- They must be currently residing in the United States
- They must be able to provide proof that they have physically been in the U.S. for a continuous period of not less than 5 years prior to the June 15, 2012
- They must currently be in school, graduated from high school, obtained a general education development certificate or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- They must not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
- They must not currently be over the age of 30.
Individuals applying for this status must also complete a background check and be 15 years old or older and must not be subject to a final order of removal.
USCIS and ICE will outline and begin implantation of the application processes within 60 days. For more information, call the USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., or click here to visit their website.
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At Udall Shumway PLC, we are dedicated to helping employees, employers, families, and individuals with all of their immigration related needs. Our immigration section practices exclusively U.S. immigration and nationality law and has the experience necessary to help you navigate the labyrinth created by U.S. immigration laws. To ensure a successful immigration process, contact Matthew L. White in our immigration section and schedule an initial consultation today!