The Obama Administration Announces Deferred Action and Work Permit to Dreamers

The Obama Administration has announced that it will offer Deferred Action to younger illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, to allow them to complete their education, continue their military service or begin their careers.

Please note that Deferred Action does not constitute permanent legal status or citizenship. Deferred Action will be granted on a case-by-case basis, and if granted, then the applicant will be eligible to apply for an employment authorization card that will authorize employment for 2 years and can be subsequently renewed.


Eligibility

Eligible individuals must:

  • Be 15-30 years old, and have entered the U.S. before age 16
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
  • Have maintained continuous residence
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors
  • Be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran

Deferred action will be available to those in proceedings, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.

Age Requirements

If the applicant is currently only 14 years of age that does not permanently disqualify them from this benefit. It just means that the person will have to wait to submit their request until they turn 15. The age limit is 30, so if you were 30 or younger on June 15, 2012, you will qualify.

Crimes

If you have been convicted of one serious crime, then you are not eligible for this benefit. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has confirmed that one offense for DUI may be considered a “serious misdemeanor” in regards to this application.


Implementation

The DHS is not receiving requests at this time.

During a conference call organized by DHS regarding the June 15, 2012 announcement for Dreamers, representatives of DHS confirmed that no affirmative requests for deferred action and/or work permits are being accepted at this time, and any requests received will be denied.

Decision and Work Permit

Each Deferred Action request will be reviewed and granted on a case-by-case basis, and only if granted the applicant will be eligible to apply for an employment authorization card with a 2 year validity period that can be subsequently renewed.


Risks

Will my family be at risk if I apply for this benefit?

When this question was presented to DHS representatives, they stated that DHS does not have the intention of investigating family members of the applicant only because an application was submitted.

What will happen if my request is denied?

It will depend on the reason for the denial. If the request is denied, for example, because the applicant has a criminal history, then that person will probably be placed in deportation proceedings.

So please review your criminal history with an attorney before submitting your request.

DHS also announced that an appeal process will not be available for these applications. Therefore, once an application is denied, the decision will be final.


Be Aware of “Notario” Fraud

There are many “notarios” who are taking advantage of undocumented immigrants. Please seek the advice of a licensed attorney with experience in immigration law before you submit your request for Deferred Action.


Free Seminars on Deferred Action for Dreamers on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m.

Our Immigration Attorneys will be answering your questions about Greater Houston Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) personally.