Feds Announce Details On New Deferred Action Policy
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced last month that immigrants who meet several key criteria will be eligible for deferred action of up to two years, and will be able to apply for work authorization during that time. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released information regarding eligibility and application requirements.
To qualify for the program, an applicant must:
- Have been born after June 15, 1981.
- Have arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16.
- Have resided continuously in the U.S. since June 15, 2007.
- Have been in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.
- Be in school, graduated from high school or received a GED certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran.
- Be at least 15 years old to apply if not currently in removal proceedings.
Immigrants who meet the above criteria and who have not been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanors will be required to pay a $465 fee, submit fingerprints, and undergo a background check in order to apply for deferment.
The Pew Hispanic Center predicts up to 1.4 million people could benefit from the program, which will begin accepting applications on August 15th through the USCIS website.
USCIS officials have stated that information collected in applications will not be shared with immigration enforcement agents in most cases, though applicants are advised to seek accredited legal counsel during the immigration process, as the new policy is expected to cause a potential spike in "Notario" and other types of immigration assistance fraud.
For more information on the Deferred Action ruling, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s informational page.