WASHINGTON — Young undocumented immigrants who apply for deferred action under a new Obama administration policy can be confident that the information won’t be used to deport them — unless they lie on the forms, have committed certain crimes, or are determined to be a national security threat — according to new guidelines released Friday by the Department of Homeland Security.
There will be a $465 application fee. In some “very, very limited cases,” individuals will be exempted from that fee (e.g. homeless-type situation or an individual who has a significant disability and far below the national poverty lines).
Although estimates vary, as many as 1.4 million people could be eligible to apply, although not everyone will be granted deferred action. There are five main criteria to qualify:
- Immigrants must have entered the U.S. before the age of 16,
- have lived in the U.S. for five years,
- be under 31 years old,
- have a high school diploma or a GED, or have been honorably discharged from the military.
- Immigrants who are considered a national security or public safety risk — based on felonies, multiple misdemeanors or “significant misdemeanors” — will be ineligible.
Applications will be released on August 15, and individuals pay submit applications after that time. House Democrats at a Thursday press conference urged undocumented young people to avoid scammers who say they will help fill out the applications and collect the necessary documents, as a number of organizations and congressional offices are able to give the same guidance for free.
Please note: Those who are accepted will NOT be legalized, even if they are given permission to work. They will instead be granted two-year deferrals of deportation, which are renewable. This program is not the legalization or path to citizenship – it is simply a decision by the Department of Homeland Security, at President Obama’s instruction, to get its enforcement priorities right — focusing on removing criminals and others who threaten community safety, not the law-abiding, hard-working young people who pose no threat and cannot be blamed for their unauthorized status.
- Some DREAMers Hesitant to Pursue Deferred Action (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- Dreamers: Fear of Unscrupulous Notarios and Immigration Consultant Fraud On … Journal.us News Agency (blog) 8/11/12
- DHS Releases Details of Deferred Action (wnyc.org)
- James Makowski, U.S. Citizen Mistaken For Undocumented Immigrant, Sues Government | Huffington Post | 7/10/12 (vinhsulaw.wordpress.com)
- How Will Deferred Action for DREAMers Work? New Details Released (colorlines.com)
- USCIS Update: Applications Filed Now Will Be Rejected -Deferred Action Process for Young People & Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601) (vinhsulaw.wordpress.com)