On June 15, 2012, President Obama, from the Rose Garden in Washington, D.C., announced that certain young individuals will be protected from deportation through a program called "deferred action." This Memorandum comes after years of inaction by the U.S. Congress to pass the DREAM Act or any other legislation written to protect young people who entered this country as a consequence of the decisions of others, usually parents. As part of the program, qualified individuals will be eligible to apply for a work permit. Although the program is in effect as of the date of the President's announcement, details on how to apply for the program will follow within 60 days.
Through information gathered and analyzed by our legal team, one must apply with one of two agencies for the benefits of the Deferred Action program. Depending on the circumstances and individual situation of the person applying, one must apply with one of the two following agencies:
- Affirmative Application (Reserved for people who have never been in deportation proceedings): Citizenship and Immigration Service of the United States
- Non-Affirmative Application (Reserved for persons subject to a final order of deportation or currently have a pending case with the immigration court or federal court): Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Individuals eligible for the Deferred Action must:
- Have entered the U.S. before 16 years of age; and
- Have resided continuously in the United States for not less than five years from June 15, 2012; and
- Have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; and
- Be enrolled in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained their GED, or be a veteran of the Coast Guard or the Armed Forces; and
- Not have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors, or be a danger to national or public security; and
- Not be more than 30 years of age.
People who meet the above criteria will also need to go through a background check. Individuals not subject to a final order of deportation must apply to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service office and be 15 years of age or older.