President Barack Obama signed an executive order creating the DREAM Act alternative on June 15, 2012 and so far the government has received close to 400,000 requests. Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they meet the following conditions;
- They came to U.S. before they turned 16;
- They were under 31 years old on June 15, 2012;
- They have been in the U.S. for at least five continuous years as of June 15, 2012 and they were present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
- They have no criminal history; and
- They are currently in school, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.
Individuals who can demonstrate through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action, even if they are in immigration court proceedings and/or have a final order of removal from an immigration judge and are not currently detained. Further, undocumented youth who receive deferred action status and employment authorization documents can work for US employers legally two years with renewable terms. Moreover, once USCIS approves the request for deferred action, the applicant can obtain an advance parole to travel outside of the U.S. with a separate application. Advance parole allows the applicant to leave the U.S. for humanitarian, employment, and educational reasons.
The top states for applications received are California with 110,230, Texas (63,455), New York (23,389), Illinois (19,736) and Florida (18,470), where immigrant communities are large and widespread. The leading countries of origin for applicants are Mexico with 290,019, followed by El Salvador (16,824), Honduras (10,882), Guatemala (9,904), Peru (5,974), South Korea (5,354), Brazil (5,098), Colombia (4,503) and Ecuador (4,386).
According to USCIS, information provided in a request for deferred action, including information about family members and guardians, will not be shared with ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for the purpose of deportation proceedings unless the case involves fraud, a criminal offense, a threat to public safety or national security, or other exceptional circumstances.
Moreover, in order to learn if an applicant is qualified to get in-state tuition he/she should check his/her state’s laws and policies to determine whether residents who have deferred action are eligible to pay in-state tuition. In some states, students must have resided in the state in a lawful status for at least a year in order to qualify for in-state tuition.
Last but not the least, this is not an amnesty and it is not a path to green card or citizenship. It is just a pathway for illegal young immigrants to come out of shadows.
Av. Remzi Güvenç Kulen
Kulen Law Firm PC