News: Obama Administration Announces Temporary Relief for DREAMers
Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napalitano announced that effective immediately the Obama administration will provide deferred action to undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as small children and raised and educated in the United States.
Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion that does not provide immigration status, but does allow an otherwise deportable alien permission to live and work in the United States for a temporary duration. This news brings long awaited relief to a group known as DREAMers, young undocumented people who might have qualified for the proposed DREAM Act legislation.
People must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for this deferred action:
- Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Are not above the age of thirty.
Those who qualify may be eligible to receive deferred action and employment authorization for a period of two years, which may be extended.
USCIS and ICE will begin implementation of an application process for this deferred action within 60 days. Those who are already in removal proceedings and meet the criteria may be offered deferred action on a case by case basis.
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