02 Jul Deferred Action FAQ for Dreamers or Young Adults
The Obama Administration issued a policy memorandum on June 15, 2012, that will stop the removal of certain young adult aliens who came in to the U.S. before age of 16 years through prosecutorial discretion. In addition those who will be allowed to stay will be granted a legal stay known as “Deferred Action”. Simply put, Deferred Action is just allowing a person to stay legally in the U.S. until such time that he or she qualifies for a visa or green card. The issuance of Deferred Action will enable the alien to apply for work authorization. With this work authorization he or she can apply for a Social Security Number and Driver License. Those who are not in removal proceedings may apply voluntarily with the USCIS starting August 14, 2012.
Question: Who qualifies for prosecutorial discretion?
Answer: The following criteria should be satisfied before an individual is considered for prosecutorial discretion:
- Came to the U.S. under the age of 16 years;
- Has continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before June 15, 2012 and is present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a GED certificate, or is honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to the national security or public safety and
- Is not above the age of 30 years on June 15, 2012.
- Must pass background check.
Question: What is deferred action?
Answer: Deferred action is when the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agrees not to place an individual in removal (deportation) proceedings or not to execute an order of removal. Under the Obama policy those who qualifies for prosecutorial discretion will be given deferred action and work authorization for two years renewable thereafter.
Question: How will deferred action be implemented?
Answer: The Secretary of Homeland Security issued a memo to the CBP, ICE and USCIS on how to implement this policy.
1. For those aliens who were encountered by the CPB, ICE or USCIS, and meet the above criteria.
a. these agencies should exercise prosecutorial discretion to stop these aliens to be placed in
removal proceedings or be removed from the U.S.
b. USCIS is instructed to follow the guidance in issuing a Notice to Appear.
2. For individuals who are in removal proceedings but not yet subject to final order of removal and meet the above criteria.
a. ICE should exercise prosecutorial discretion by deferring action for a period of two years subject to renewal in order to prevent removal.
b. ICE is instructed to begin the process within 60 days from June 15, 2012.
c. ICE is instructed to begin the process for those aliens identified in the review of cases pending
before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
3. For individuals who are not currently in removal proceedings .
a. USCIS should establish a clear and efficient process for exercising prosecutorial discretion by deferring action
against individual who meet the criteria.
b. The USCIS prosecutorial discretion process shall also be available to individuals subject to final order
of removal regardless of their age.
c. USCIS is directed to implement the process within 60 days from June 15, 2012.