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Monday, June 18, 2012

Prosecutorial Discretion for DREAMers

On June 15, 2012 the Department of Homeland Security formally announced that it will offer deferred action to "DREAMers." For all the promising undocumented youth who call America home this represents the opportunity to come out of the shadows and fully embrace the only country they know. We applaud this bold action to provide relief and enable these young people to actively contribute to our society and economy.

Eligible individuals must:
  • Be 15-30 years old, and have entered before age 16
  • Have been present in the U.S. for 5 years as of June 15, 2012
  • Have maintained continuous residence
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • 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 to those who apply affirmatively.
 Please note that requests for prosecutorial discretion are not yet being accepted.  Stay tuned for further details.

UPDATE from June 18 stakeholder's call from USCIS Director Mayorkis:  

Prosecutorial discretion is a discretionary determination to defer action against an individual.  Does not confer lawful status upon an individual.  Person granted would not be accruing unlawful presence and a positive grant does not excuse other periods of unlawful presence. 

Individuals who receive deferred action will be eligible for employment authorization.

Period will be for two years, subject to renewal.  When a person seeks renewal, individuals will also need to reapply for an extension of their employment authorization. 

Records that will establish eligibility include financial, school, employment, financial or military records and will be useful to prove the individual came to the U.S. prior to age 16 and that the individual has resided here for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012. 

Individuals seeking to use false or fraudulent documents will be prosecuted.

If the request is denied, DHS will not automatically be issuing Notices to Appear, but will follow existing policy regarding priorities.

There will be no appeals process from a denied request for deferred action.

Does not apply to dependants and other immediate relatives.

Travel outside of the United States during the period of deferred action is not yet clear.  






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