Participation in the DREAM Act means that individuals brought to the United States as children as “illegal aliens” who meet certain requirements will not be deported or placed into removal proceedings. Moreover, the ability to work legally in the United States also will become a reality under this new plan for those who can demonstrate an economic necessity for employment. The plan (which is also referred to as Deferred Action or DREAMERS) along with Employment Authorization must be renewed every 2 years. As things currently stand, Deferred Action does not provide a path to a green card, citizenship, or amnesty.
In order to meet the eligibility requirements for Deferred Action and Employment Authorization, all of the following must apply to the individual:
1. Must have entered the United States prior to his or her 16th birthday;
2. Must be from 15 years old to 30 years old;
3. Must have been present in the United States for at least 5 years as of June 15, 2012;
4. Must have maintained a continuous residence;
5. Must have mostly avoided a criminal history – absolutely no felony convictions, no significant misdemeanor offenses, no multiple minor misdemeanor convictions (three or more convictions on different dates). A significant misdemeanor is a federal, state law, or local ordinance violation which is punishable by no more than 1 year in jail. Other crimes that constitute a significant misdemeanor offense include: assaults, threats, violent offenses, domestic violence, sex offenses involving abuse or exploitation, burglary, larceny, fraud, drinking and driving, driving under the influence of drugs, obstruction of justice, bribery, resisting arrest, resisting and obstructing a police officer, fleeing the scene of an accident, unlawful possession of drugs, possession with intent to distribute drugs, use of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm.
6. Must undergo biometric and biographic background checks prior to receiving this status. This is to verify the lack of the aforementioned criminal history, and to make sure the person does not pose a national security or public safety risk. The aforementioned criminal history, national security, or public safety risk will lead to a denial of the petition.
7. Must be in school, a high school graduate, have a GED, or is honorably discharged from the military, National Guard, or Coast Guard.
Individuals who are not in removal proceedings or that are subjected to a final order of removal can submit a request to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for Deferred Action. Qualified individuals in removal proceedings before the ICE will also be allowed to request a review of their case.
It is important to hire an experienced immigration lawyer to pursue Deferred Action and Employment Authorization to make sure that you and/or your loved ones qualify for Deferred Action and Employment Authorization , that you submit proper and acceptable documentation for meeting the qualifications for the program, and that the correct procedures are otherwise followed to reduce the chances of being denied this status and/or being denied the ability to work. It is important to note that the law is always subject to change (especially since it has not been enacted by Congress), and an experienced immigration lawyer will be able to guide you in the correct direction as to changes in policy and implementation of DREAMERS. The decision to grant Deferred Action and Employment Authorization is also discretionary. Furthermore, as it stands now, there is no appellate procedure for denials – you only have one opportunity to reach the right result.
DREAMERS – Deferred Action and Employment Authorization – are an opportunity that you should not miss if you are eligible. The security and rewards of not having to live in the shadows awaits those who are granted this status. Call the immigration lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC today for an opportunity for a better future in the United States.
In any circumstance in which you, a friend, or a family member is seeking Deferred Action, Employment Authorization, or has other immigration issues, you should always take the time to discuss the situation with an experienced immigration lawyer, such as the lawyers at Hilf & Hilf, PLC. The failure to retain an experienced immigration lawyer may turn out to be your greatest regret.