Immigration lawyers around the country welcomed the Administration’s recent announcement that younger immigrants may be eligible for “Deferred Action” and work authorization. The policy will grant qualified immigrants the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally. This exciting new development brings hope to immigrants and their families. It is not, however, a permanent fix and does not grant permanent legal status to anyone.
To qualify, an individual must:
- have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen;
- have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
- not have been convicted of a felony offense, a “significant misdemeanor offense,” three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012
The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings, those with final removal orders, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.
The Administration is not yet accepting applications for this action. Within sixty days – by the middle of August – the Administration expects to issue guidance and information about how eligible individuals can request deferred action and work authorization.
If you are not in removal proceedings, DO NOT apply for deferred action at this time. Unfortunately, this policy may open the door for fraud and deception by so-called “Notarios.” In the United States, notarios have no legal background and cannot legally practice law or represent you. Anyone claiming they can submit an application or charging a fee for applying for deferred action should NOT be trusted until the process has been announced by the federal government. An immigrant’s case can be delayed by notarios acting in bad faith, resulting in penalties and even deportation.
“Be careful! Do not endanger your chance to qualify for this action,” said an AILA official. “Make sure to contact a licensed attorney for more information on applying for deferred action,” the AILA official continued.
For more information, contact immigration attorney Steven A. Culbreath, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more resources on this announcement, go to www.aila.org/dream. You can also visit www.ailalawyer.com to locate a qualified attorney in your particular area.