Friday, August 3, 2012

Important Update For Deferred Action On Childhood Arrivals

The Department of Homeland Security will begin accepting applications for deferred action consideration of undocumented aliens who were brought to the United States as children starting August 15, 2012. The filing fee, including employment authorization and biometrics, will be $465.00. You may be eligible for this benefit if you can satisfy the following requirements:
  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and;
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
This benefit does not confer an immigration status on an otherwise undocumented alien; rather, it permits an applicant to remain in the U.S. for a deferred period of up to two years, subject to renewal, and to obtain work authorization while placed in deferred action status. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer action of an individual who is otherwise removable from the country under federal law because they entered the country without inspection and failed to depart. Even if you have already been placed in removal proceedings, you may be eligible for this benefit. Deferred action will not excuse previously accrued unlawful presence in the country; however, if your case is deferred, you will not accrue further unlawful presence during the period of deferred action. Deferred action also does not provide a path to permanent resident status or citizenship. Until Congress adopts the Dream Act , deferred action cannot be used as a path to legal status. If you are granted deferred status, you are not permitted to travel outside the country and re-enter unless you have applied and obtained advance parole for your travel.

This is an important benefit potentially affecting a large number of undocumented aliens currently present in the U.S. You are highly encouraged to obtain the advice and assistance of an attorney before applying for this benefit. Feel free to contact me at gwelsh@welshatlaw.com for more information and assistance.