Deferred Action Announced for “Dreamers”
On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced in a memo that deferred action will be implemented for certain undocumented youth.
According to the Napolitano memo, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin to exercise prosecutorial discretion for certain undocumented youth. This means that DHS will not seek the removal or deportation of those youth it deems eligible. Additionally, work authorization will be made available. This policy extends to eligible individuals whether they are in removal proceedings or if they have never been placed in removal proceedings. Only those who meet the eligibility criteria may benefit from this announcement.
The general criteria for consideration of prosecutorial discretion or deferred action on this ground are as follows:
• Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum [June 15, 2012];
• Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an 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 a threat to national security or public safety; and
• Is not above the age of thirty.
If you or someone you know appears to meet these criteria, please contact our office for additional information. We may be able to assist you and are happy to meet with you.
Please note that this is not a law, it is not “The Dream Act,” and it does not create any new rights. Rather, it is an announcement for a policy that is yet to be put in place. It is anticipated that the procedures and further clarification of eligibility should be implemented within approximately sixty days, according to the memo released June 15, 2012.