Last Wednesday marked the first day that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepted applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process. “Deferred Action” is the term used to describe when the Department of Homeland Security agrees not to initiate removal or deportation proceedings against an individual or not to execute an order of removal.
On June 15 of this year, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, issued a Memorandum to US Immigration Agencies detailing a Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children. Under this Discretion, individuals who qualify under “deferred action” will not be removed from the United States for an initial period of two years and will have the opportunity to apply for employment authorization, enabling them to apply for a SSN, and in some states, a state identification/and or driver’s license.
Here are the five requirements for qualifying:
- Applicant must have arrived in the United States before turning 16 years old.
- Must have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding, and have been physically present in the United States on 15, June 2012.
- Applicant must be currently in school, have graduated from high school, working towards or have obtained a General Education Degree (GED), or must be an honorably discharged veteran of the US Coast Guard or Armed Forces in the US.
- Applicant must not have a conviction for a felony offense, a substantial misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses.
- Applicant must not be above the age of 30 years old.
Speaking to the IPS Latino Resources Roundtable Group last week, local attorney Angela Adams, highly encourages individuals who believe they qualify to contact a competent immigration attorney who is registered under the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
For more details and recommendations for prospective applicants, watch this video featured on the USCIS Website.