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Archive for the ‘Dream Act’ Category

75,000 Deferred Action Applications Received So Far

Posted on: Saturday, September 29th, 2012  In: Dream Act  |  Comments Off

Last week USCIS releases the number of applications that have been filed under the new program initiated by President Obama called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. An estimated 75,000 applications have been filed which is lower than the expected 250,000 applications. First approvals have also been issued. One of the reasons noted for the lower-than-expected number of applications is the difficulty in gathering adequate evidence to meet all of the criteria, particularly evidence of physical presence in the United States for the children who were brought to the US without inspection. Often, those children did not have much evidence of when they entered and after they graduated high school, they frequently took jobs where they were paid cash without a paper trail. To be eligible for the program, applicants must demonstrate continuous physical presence in the US from June 15, 2007 to present. Applicants are encouraged to look to churches, libraries, community organizations, health clubs, doctors, and any other evidence available to prove continuous presence. They can also submit affidavits from people who saw them living in the US for the requisite period of time. Currently, the USCIS estimates that it will take between 4 and 6 months to make a decision on the application. All people applying are encouraged to make sure their application is complete and contains all required evidence as there is no appeal available to those whose application is denied. Help from a qualified lawyer practicing immigration law is always a good idea and many attorneys are taking cases on a sliding scale depending in financial need or even for free in situations where the applicant cannot afford legal help.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Posted on: Wednesday, August 15th, 2012  In: Dream Act  |  Comments Off

Today the USCIS unveiled the new forms that must be completed by eligible individuals seeking deferred action. As promised in its June 15th memorandum, starting tomorrow qualified applicants will be able to apply for deferred action and employment authorization. Deferred action is not an immigration status but an acknowledgment from the USCIS that an individual is a low priority risk and presently USCIS has no interest in commencing removal proceedings against that person. As such, it does afford a certain level of protection and peace of mind for those who are granted the privilege. The accompanying employment authorization permits unrestricted lawful employment in all states. So who will benefit from this new change in policy? Simply put, the people who came to the United States as children and who completed high school and have kept out of trouble with the law.

The criteria for eligibility are as follows:
* applicant must have come to the US before his or her 16th birthday
* applicant must currently be in school, must have completed high school, obtained a GED or be a veteran of the armed forces
* applicant must have been continuously present in the US since June 15, 2007
* applicant must have been physically present in the US on June 15, 2012
* applicant must be at least 15 years old
* applicant must be born after June 15, 1981
* applicant must not have been convicted of any significant misdemeanor, three minor misdemeanors or any type of felony

Those individuals who meet the above criteria will be able to mail their applications along with supporting evidence, photos and filing fees to the appropriate USCIS lock box facility, depending on their state of current residence. As always, the grant of deferred action is a discretionary matter and applicants must prove eligibility and warrant favorable discretion. Advice of qualified immigration counsel is always a good idea, especially in new matters where the policy is being tested.

Once deferred action and employment authorization are approved, the individual will be able lo obtain a social security card and then a state-issued driver’s license.