Deferred Action for the DREAMERs (originally posted 6/22/2012)
Who are the DREAM-ers?
They are people (not “aliens”…) who were brought to the United States as minors, without their consent, who lived continuously in the United States for a period of at least five years, attended schools here, graduated from a US high school and may have attended a US college. They also have been under the age of thirty at the time when the law (that is supposed to protect them) will be adopted. They look, act and dream like any other young American of a bright future for themselves.
This memorandum recommending to the US Department of Homeland Security to defer removal action (postpone the deportation procedures) against these young people who are present illegally in the United States, is only that: a recommendation. It is not a law. It is not mandatory. It does not bind anyone. Even more, postponing the deportation procedures for these young people does not provide to them any legal permission to stay here, nor does it absolve them of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. They can, however, be eligible to receive employment authorization (the legal right to work in the United States) provided they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.”.
The information below comes from the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service website: (this link may no longer be working as many of the pages have been removed with the new administration for POTUS 45)
What is deferred action?
Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual.
In addition, although an alien granted deferred action will not be considered to be accruing unlawful presence in the United States during the period deferred action is in effect, deferred action does not absolve individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.
Under existing regulations, an individual who has been granted deferred action is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” Deferred action can be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion or renewed by the agency.
Pursuant to the Secretary’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:
- Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Currently be 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 offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
- Not be above the age of thirty.
If you have questions about your immigration status, please call our office at 678-615-8529. We’re here to help.