Deferred Action Gives Undocumented Youth a Brighter Future

New Hope for DREAM Youth

For most children, their futures are largely shaped for them by their parents. This also means the impact of their parents’ decisions usually ends when the children become adults. For the undocumented children of immigrants, this has not been the case. Their access to education, employment and even travel has been limited because of their immigration status. Now opportunities may no longer be out of reach for some of these children with the introduction of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

This new program, offered by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service is being extended to “DREAMers”; young people who grew up in the United States but have not been able to obtain legal residency because their parents are undocumented. Last year the DREAM Act, which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors, was introduced to allow these people a means of obtaining temporary legal residency and eventually permanent legal residency.

Under Deferred Action as it is commonly known, young people may obtain temporary permission to stay in the United States, although the program itself does not change or grant any permanent legal or lawful status to remain in the country. Even temporary permission may make a significant difference in the lives of many young people who have graduated from high school and are looking for a way to chart their futures. Deferred Action is especially attractive for those young people who are unable to obtain visas through other family-based immigration processes.

Once approved, Deferred Action permissions last for two years, enabling individuals to apply for a social security number, obtain employment authorization and opens the door to the possibility of travelling.

Who Qualifies for Deferred Action?

There are several qualifications to obtain Deferred Action approval. Applicants must meet these criteria:

On June 15, 2012 the applicant must have been between the ages of 15 and 31 years of age
The applicant must have arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16
Any permissions to remain in the U.S. such as a visa or other permit must have already expired on June 15, 2012
The applicant must have lived in the U.S. for the past five years and must have been in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
There are several other qualifications such as proof of education and a clean criminal record. In addition, there must not be any evidence that the applicant poses a threat to national security or public safety.

The Huffington Post and other news agencies have been reporting that many con artists are trying to take advantage of anxious undocumented people by offering special protection or favors with immigration officials. Individuals looking for help with Deferred Action forms and other immigration issues may benefit from talking with an experienced immigration lawyer.

An immigration attorney can guide individuals through the immigration process, taking undocumented youth out of the shadows and placing them on a path for a sunny future.

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Phone: 312-967-3159

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