The American government approved its first round of "deferred action" applicants this week, which means the approved group of illegal young immigrants will be able to avoid the risk of deportation and remain in the country with a two-year work authorization.
On June 15, the Obama Administration announced its new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, introducing a process that would allow deportation deferment for illegal immigrants who entered the country before the age of 16 and who were age 30 or younger when the program's announcement was made. Potential applicants are also required to have continuously resided in the country for at least five years, along with meeting other criteria. Now the new policy has produced its first batch of results. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this week that a portion of the estimated 72,000 applications it received have been approved, according to a recent Associated Press article in The Dallas Morning News titled "Obama administration approves first deportation deferrals for young illegal immigrants."
The article states that the first wave of approvals came earlier than the department expected for the program that became active in mid-August. The department, which did not release the number of approved applications, said those who were approved would be notified this week. CBS DFW reported that hundreds of immigrants lined up outside the Mexican Consulate in Dallas the night before the program became effective on Aug. 15.
Besides the age and residential requirements, eligible applicants must also pass background checks for criminal activity and meet certain education or military service criteria, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). More specifically, applicants must be either currently enrolled in school, a high school graduate, someone who has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate or an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or Armed Forces. A two-year work authorization period that results from a successful deferred action can be extended or renewed.
The Department of Homeland Security's recent announcement shows a sign of hope about the new policy—the program is already working. The new deferred action policy is not a pathway to legal permanent residency or citizenship, but it does create more options for young immigrants who might have been brought into United States illegally by their parents at a young age. The new program will allow those young people—many who have spent most of their lives in the United States—to have temporary relief from the risks of deportation that they might be facing.
If you believe you might qualify for a deferred action, contact a Dallas immigration lawyer immediately. The attorneys at our firm, Mathur Law Offices, are experienced in immigration law and can help you in a verity of areas, including deferred action. We know that the threat of deportation can cause a great level of fear, stress and hardship to you and your family members. With the help of a skilled attorney, you can have the peace of mind that you are taking action in an accurate and time-effective manner.
Contact us today!