Deferred Action for Certain Young Immigrants:
On June 15, 2012, DHS announced that certain young people who entered the U.S. before age 16 will no longer be removed from the United States. Qualifying individuals will be granted "deferred action" and be eligible for a work permit.
You cannot apply for deferred action at this time. If you are currently in removal proceedings, you may be offered deferred action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Otherwise, you will have to wait until the government finalizes an application process.
If you believe you are eligible for deferred action but face imminent removal from the United States, contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24/7) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) or EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.
You should only trust information from a reliable source, such as an official government website or reputable legal or charitable organizations. Consult with a qualified immigration attorney before requesting deferred action.
In order to be eligible for deferred action, an individual must prove that he or she:
- Was under 31 years old on June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States under the age of 16;
- Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Is currently attending school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a G.E.D. certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard;
- Has not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, nor otherwise poses a threat to the community or national security.
Requests for deferred action will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and not every young immigrant will qualify. Individuals who are found to be ineligible due to criminal history or because they represent a danger to the community may be subject to removal or other immigration enforcement action. DHS considers many misdemeanor offenses to be "significant misdemeanors," including those for which the individual received no jail time. A single DUI is considered a significant misdemeanor. If you have ever been arrested by the police, talk to a qualified immigration attorney before applying for deferred action.
Don’t get scammed!
The government will inform the public how to apply, within 60 days or by August 13, 2012. Until then, you CANNOT apply for deferred action. You should NOT "turn yourself in" to start the process. However, you CAN begin gathering the documents that you will need to apply for deferred action:
- Documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, showing age on June 15, 2012;
- Financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, and military records that demonstrate an individual came to the U.S. before the age of 16, AND resided in the U.S. for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 AND was physically present in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012;
- School records, including diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts and other evidence of enrollment, or documentation as an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.
More information is available at: www.aila.org/deferredaction, www.uscis.gov, www.ice.gov, USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283, (staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m), ICE Office of the Public Advocate hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday), or www.unitedwedream.org.