On June 15, 2012 The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced that it will offer deferred action to individuals that qualify as DREAMers. To qualify for deferred action the individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Be 15-30 years old, and have entered the United States before age 16.
- Have been present in the United States for 5 years as of June 15, 2012.
- Have maintained continuous residence within the United States.
- Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors.
- Be currently in school, graduated or have a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran.
- The deferred action offer will be available to those in proceedings, as well as those who apply affirmatively.
This temporary action by DHS does not offer amnesty, immunity or any permanent resolution to the immigration issues facing DREAMers. Qualified DREAMers will be eligible for work authorization. This action is not a step to any permanent fix such as a green card or permanent residency for DREAMers or their family, it does not grant legal status, nor does it grant the ability to vote. Although this move by DHS offers a temporary reprieve from removal for qualified DREAMers, it is not a permanent fix but it does grant Congress more time to draft new legislation to deal with this glaring issue. We will provide further insight and guidance as this issue develops.
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