On Friday August 3rd, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provided a few more important details about the highly anticipated and much discussed deferred action initiative originally announced by the Obama Administration back on June 15.
The new information explains how the deferred action process (a form of administrative relief from deportation) will work for those who qualify, namely certain young people who were brought to the U.S. as children. This initiative has been given the acronym of DACA, which stands for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Some newly released highlights include answers to the following questions:
- When? Beginning August 15, 2012, and not before then, individuals requesting deferred action will submit their request to USCIS. Forms to request consideration will not be available until that date. Requests made before August 15 will be rejected.
- How? Forms will be publicly available at no charge from DHS, Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After August 15, deferred action the request forms should be submitted along with an employment authorization application. All requestors will eventually be required to provide biometrics and undergo background checks.
- To whom? All requests should be sent to USCIS. The only exception is for individuals currently detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Individuals in ICE detention must request deferred action directly from ICE by contacting the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday) or by email at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov
- Cost? The total fees for deferred action will be $465. This is a universal fee that includes the application for employment authorization. In very few instances fee exemptions may be available, in such situations as if the applicant is homeless or in foster care, or suffers from a disability and cannot care for himself or herself.. Requests for fee exemptions must be submitted prior to a request for deferred action.
- What if the request is denied? There is no opportunity to appeal a denial of deferred action. If USCIS declines to grant deferred action, cases involving a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety will be referred to ICE for enforcement purposes.
- Who is eligible? Additional guidelines detail who would not qualify for deferred action. Information is also now available about evidence required to meet the criteria for deferred action. New guidelines include:
- Eligible individuals must not have been convicted of a felony, “significant misdemeanor”, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
- Affidavits by themselves generally will not be sufficient evidence of eligibility. .
More Information - Deferred Action Resources
- This Thursday, August 9th at 1pm EST, Reform Immigration for America will be hosting an important national State of Play conference call on relief for DREAMERS through deferred action
- Please call in and participate on this important national call, as experts and advocates who will be directly affected share the latest information about policy, legal representation, communications, and field outreach strategies on the “deferred action’ relief for DREAMERS.
- Speaker will include experts and leaders from United We DREAM (UWD), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), Immigrant Advocates Network (IAN), National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO), and the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA).
- Please call: 1-800-894-5910. Your conference title and password is “DREAM.”
- Government Resources:
- Memorandum: Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children, Janet Napolitano, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, June 15, 2012.
- On August 3rd USCIS posted multiple resources to help individuals navigate the process:
- A Detailed USCIS flowchart on who is eligible for deferred action.
- A helpful flyer from USCIS which details eligibility for deferred action and the process for applying.
- USCIS website detailing the process on deferred action.
- USCIS also has a resource for avoiding scams when applying for deferred action.
- Advocacy Resources:
- Administrative Action: Deferred Action for Certain Young People, The National Immigration Forum’s resource page for deferred action.
- FAQ: Deferred Action for Certain Immigrant Youth, The National Immigration Law Center’s Frequently Asked Questions page for deferred action has detailed information describing deferred action, the necessary requirements and how to apply.
- Stop Notario Fraud, American Immigration Lawyers Association. This Web site has extensive information describing immigration fraud, where to get help, and where to find legitimate immigration legal services.
- Consumer Advisory on Deferred Action, The American Immigration Lawyers Association detailed consumer advisory on how to avoid scams when it comes to deferred action.