Deferred Action Announced for Dreamers

On June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced in a memo that deferred action will be implemented for certain undocumented youth.

Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will begin to exercise prosecutorial discretion for certain undocumented youth. This means that DHS will not seek the removal or deportation of those youth it deems eligible. Additionally, work authorization will be made available. This policy extends to eligible individuals if they are in removal proceedings or if they have never been placed in removal proceedings. Only those who meet the eligibility criteria may benefit from this announcement.

The general criteria for consideration of prosecutorial discretion or deferred action are as follows:

  • Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  • Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum [June 15, 2012];
  • Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • Is not above the age of thirty.
  • If you or someone you know appears to meet these criteria, please contact our office for additional information. We may be able to assist you and are happy to meet with you.

Please note that this is not a law, it is not “The Dream Act,” and it does not create any new rights. Rather, it is an announcement for a policy that is yet to be put in place. It is anticipated that the procedures and further clarification of eligibility should be implemented within approximately sixty days, according to the memo released June 15, 2012.

Caution about Recent Announcements by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Prosecutorial Discretion is Not Amnesty

Recent statements by DHS Secretary Napolitano and the Obama Administration indicate that prosecutorial discretion may be broadly used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to focus only on “high priority” cases. High priority cases generally involve immigrants with criminal backgrounds. The announcement does not amount to an amnesty, nor does it mean DHS will not pursue “low priority” cases. DHS still has the authority to seek the deportation of anyone present in the U.S. without permission.

If you are in the U.S. without permission, we strongly urge you to seek the advice of an immigration attorney before you consider “turning yourself in” to ICE or CBP. We advise you against seeking the counsel of a notario or “immigration consultant” as they are not authorized to practice law.

You are welcome to call our office to meet with an attorney during a scheduled consultation.

For more details about the recent DHS statements, please see the summary below published by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), of which all attorneys in our firm are members.

http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=36705

Anuncio Sobre Comunicados Recientes del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional – NO ES una Programa de Amnistia

La Secretaria del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, por sus siglas en ingles), Napolitano, y la oficina del presidente Obama han indicado que inmigración (ICE, por sus siglas en ingles) y la agencia fronteriza (CBP, por sus siglas en ingles) pueden usar su discreción ampliamente para enfocarse en casos de “alta prioridad.” En general, casos de “alta prioridad” incluyen a inmigrantes con antecedentes penales. Este comunicado no otorga la amnistía, ni tampoco significa que DHS no esté interesado en casos de “baja prioridad.” DHS mantiene la autoridad de enjuiciar y buscar la deportación de cualquier persona que esté en los Estados Unidos sin permiso.

Si usted está en los Estados Unidos sin permiso, le sugerimos que consiga la opinión de un abogado de inmigración antes de que se presente ante ICE o CBP. Recuerde que notarios y asesores de inmigración no tienen licencia para practicar derecho en los Estados Unidos.

Si tiene preguntas, por favor llame a nuestra oficina y pida una consulta con uno de nuestros abogados.

Si gusta más detalles sobre el comunicado de DHS, favor de leer este resumen publicado por la Asociación Americana de Abogados de Inmigración (AILA, por sus siglas en inglés, a la cual pertenecen todos nuestros abogados. La versión en español empieza a partir de la pagina 4.

http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=36705