New Deferred Action Program for Illegal Immigrants
Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor
On Friday, June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, issued a memorandum announcing that effective immediately, young individuals who were brought into the United States as children and who meet certain criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the United States or from entering into removal proceedings. In order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must demonstrate through verifiable documentation the following:
- That they came to the United States under the age of 16;
- They have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and were present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- They are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
- Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor or offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- They are not above the age of 30.
The memorandum impacts employers because if an individual receives deferred action, he or she can apply for and obtain an authorization for employment from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Deferred actions will be granted in two year increments.
In the coming weeks, USCIS will announce procedures for individuals who are not in removal procedures or who are subject to a final order for removal. Likewise in the upcoming weeks, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will announce the process for qualified individuals who are in removal proceedings to request a review of their case.
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