DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a new policy that went into effect on August 15, 2012. It presents the opportunity for individuals who entered the US without inspection or whose status has expired to apply for Deferred Action - in essence, to be protected from removal from the U.S. It will be granted for 2 years with the ability to renew. In order to be eligible for Deferred Action individuals must meet certain requirements:
1. Applicants must be between 15-31 years old to apply and must have entered the United States before they were 16.
2. Applicants must have resided continuously in the US since June 15, 2007.
3. Applicants cannot have been convicted of any serious crime or multiple minor crimes.
4. Applicants must be currently enrolled in high school, graduated or have a GED, or have enlisted in the military.
5. Applicants must demonstrate physical presence in the U.S. on June 15, 2012.
Being granted Deferred Action opens the door to several possibilities. For one thing, those who are granted Deferred Action and employment authorization receive a valid Social Security number. Secondly, they can apply for Advance Parole which may allow them to travel out of the country. Lastly, being granted Deferred Action allows individuals to apply for a valid Driver License.
We understand that there is a measure of hesitancy among many potential applicants. Some fear that applying for Deferred Action will increase the possibility of deportation since they will be declaring themselves to the government. Others have voiced a more general concern; is it worth applying? This is a good question because there is a possibility that this new policy will not be extended which would deny applicants the ability to renew after 2 years.
The USCIS has stated that it will not share applicants' information with the enforcement bureau, ICE, except in certain situations relating to criminal matters, fraud or national security. In addition, we believe that the potential benefits of Deferred Action outweigh the costs. The possibility of obtaining a Social Security number and a valid Driver License, not to mention the opportunity to apply for Advance Parole, are benefits that applicants may not be presented with again.
The following link will take you to our Deferred Action web portal where you can find out your eligibility and begin the process to apply for Deferred Action.