The Dream Act and Deferred Action – The Dream Act is a piece of Federal Legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who entered the United States. DREAM is an acronym for the Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors. The Dream Act has been proposed several times to Congress since its first introduction in 2001. Although the Dream Act has still not been adopted, on June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that his administration "will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and have since led law-abiding lives."
The Obama Administration provided that young illegal immigrants would be eligible for consideration through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion and gives qualifying persons work authorization. Although Deferred Action provides work authorization unauthorized youths who qualify, it does not provide a lawful citizenship status. Those who qualify for Deferred Action will benefit by deferring their deportation proceedings for two years, which is subject to renewal.
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In order to request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals you must prove that you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- 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;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- 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
- 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.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services began accepting applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on August 15, 2012. There are approximately 1.4 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States who meet the Deferred Action initiative with most of them residing in California or Texas. Although Deferred Action is a piece of Federal Legislation that must be followed by all states, additional benefits deriving from Deferred Action will vary from state to state.
If you or someone in your family has entered the United States a young undocumented immigrant, it is important to consult with an experienced Orange County immigration attorney familiar with Deferred Action requirements, applications, and how Deferred Action will be implemented in your state. If you or a member of your family has entered the United States as an undocumented childhood arrival and are undergoing deportation proceedings, may soon have deportation proceedings brought against you, or qualify for Deferred Action it is important to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in requesting a Deferred Action application. Scott D. Hughes is an experienced immigration attorney who has knowledge and experience with the Deferred Action initiative. He may be able to answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.
Please feel free to contact us for a comprehensive discussion of your immigration needs.