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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obama Administration Announces Administrative Relief for Dream Act Youth


On June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, who do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and who meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
While there is bipartisan support for a Congressional remedy for the plight of the so-called “Dream Act” youth, there are not enough votes to ensure passage.  For that reason, the Obama administration relied on an administrative solution to provide relief to these young persons.
The DHS issued a press release summary and provided a link to the memorandum in its entirety.
The program will provide legal status to qualified individuals who:
• Arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen;
• Continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
• Currently in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
• Not convicted of a felony offense, a "significant misdemeanor offense," three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
Applicants for Deferred Action will need to apply and receive an employment authorization document (Form I-766,  which serves as a List A document with an expiration date for I-9 verification purposes)  before they can be legally employed.
The USCIS is not yet accepting applications for deferred action. By mid-August 2012, the agency expects to issue guidance and information about how eligible individuals can request deferred action and work authorization. Interested persons may call the Miller Law Offices at 818 508-9005 for up-to-date information