DHS Deferred Action: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

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On June 15, 2012 the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced a deferred action policy allowing young people (a/k/a "Dreamers") who came to the U.S. as children to receive deferred action.

Deferred Action Requesters include individuals in removal proceedings, with final orders of removal and those who have never been subject to deportation or removal.

  1. Have come to the U.S. under the age of 16;

  2. Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years preceding June 15, 2012 and have been physically present in the U.S> on June 15, 2012;

  3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED, or be honorably discharged from the U.S. military (GED can be obtained now as long as the GED is granted before the application is submitted);

  4. Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense or 3 or more misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

a. The term “felony" means a crime with a term of imprisonment exceeding 1 year;

b. The term “significant misdemeanor" means misdemeanor with a term of imprisonment of more than 5 days and less than 1 year and includes domestic violence, DUI, drug distribution and trafficking, drug possession; sexual abuse, burglary, unlawful possession and use of firearms.

i. IMPORTANT AND A BIT SHOCKING IS THAT DUI IS CONSIDERED A SIGNIFICANT MISDEMEANOR REGARDLESS OF THE LENGTH OF THE SENTENCE. This provision will impact the community greatly.

c. The term “misdemeanor" means a misdemeanor other than the “significant misdemeanor" crimes in which the sentence of imprisonment is 90 days or less

  1. Not be above the age of 30 (i.e. be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012)

NOTE: USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas stated the following about the program:

  1. Information provided in the deferred action application is protected from disclosure to ICE & CBP unless the requester meets the criteria for issuance of a Notice to Appear http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Laws/Memoranda/Static_Files_Memoranda/NTA%20PM%20(Approved%20as%20final%2011-7-11).pdf

a. In essence, ICE will not be notified of someone’s illegal status unless there are fraudulent claims, issues of national security or issues of national defense;

b. The protection from disclosure to ICE & CBP also applies to family members & guardians of the beneficiary which is great peace of mind for the applicants.

In cases where the beneficiaries do not yet have a GED, we are attempting to get them enrolled in GED programs immediately. However, the some GED programs are requiring a social security number for those GED programs. As you can see this will greatly impede the ability of someone who is here without status to actually obtain the GED and qualify for deferred action. We are reaching out to FSCJ and any other available GED program in an attempt to determine how we may help our clients and the community with this matter.

Additional Resources

Deferred Action Announcement

USCIS Deferred Action Outline

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