The Secretary of Homeland Security announced that effective immediately certain young people will receive deferred action for a period of two years, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization! After years of fiercely advocating, immigration lawyers can finally help provide relief for millions of undocumented young immigrants.
Each applicant will be examined on a case by case basis, and the DHS immigration officer will decide whether they should exercise discretion. To qualify for this program the individual must have:
- Arrived in the United States before he or she turned 16.
- Continuously resided in the United States for at least 5 years prior to June 15th, 2012 and present in the United States on June 15th, 2012.
- Currently in school, graduated from high school, obtained a GED certificate, or honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.
- Never been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors, or pose a threat to public safety or national security.
- Under the age of 30.
Individuals applying for this program must prove through documentation that they meet all of these criteria to qualify for deferred action.
This memorandum is effective immediately and ICE and USCIS expect to begin implementation of the processes within 60 days.
While this still does not provide a path to permanent residency, it is a huge step forward from USCIS as millions of individuals can receive lawful status and the right to work.