On June 15, 2012, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano acknowledged that effective immediately, some young individuals who immigrated to the United States as children, do not stage a danger to public safety or national security, and meet a number of crucial conditions will be considered for relief from deportation from the country or from entering into deportation proceedings. Those who show that they meet the conditions will qualify to postpone action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be entitled to request for work authorization.
Secretary Napolitano said, “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
The Department of Homeland Security resumes to concentrate its implementation means on the deportation of persons who present a national security or public safety peril, comprising of immigrants convicted of crimes, felons, violent criminals, and repeat immigration law wrongdoers. In addition the action further improves the Department’s capacity to concentrate on these priority deportations.
Under this order, persons who show that they meet the following conditions will be qualified for an exercise of prudence, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:
- Entered the United States under the age of sixteen;
- Have continuously lived in the United States for a least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
- Are presently in school, have graduated from high school, have gained a “GED” general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces or Coast Guards of the United States;
- Have not been sentenced of a felony offense, a substantial misdemeanor offense, numerous misdemeanor offenses, or pose a risk to public safety or national security;
- Are not over the age of thirty.
Only those persons who can verify through verifiable records that they meet these conditions will be suitable for deferred action. Persons will not qualify if they are not presently in the United States and cannot demonstrate that they have been actually present in the United States for a period of not less than five years directly prior to June 15, 2012. Deferred action applications are determined on a case-by-case basis. The Department of Homeland Security cannot offer any promise that all such applications will be allowed. The use of prosecutorial discretion bestows no substantive right, pathway to citizenship, or immigration status. Only the US Congress, acting through its legislative power, can bestow these rights.
Although this leadership takes effect instantly, ICE and USCIS anticipate starting the application processes within sixty days. In the interim, persons looking for more news on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (at www.uscis.gov), ICE’s website (at www.ice.gov), or DHS’s website (at www.dhs.gov). Beginning June 18, 2012, persons can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1-800-375-5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 during business hours with queries or to ask for more material on the approaching procedure.
For persons who are in deportation proceedings and have been acknowledged as meeting the eligibility conditions and have been given an option as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately start to offer deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
For further information regarding immigration issues please contact the immigration attorneys for Orange County at 714-971-8000. Call today for your free 60-minute consultation!