The Department of Homeland Security Announces Its Deferred Action Process for Young People Considered Low Enforcement Priorities

The Secretary of Homeland Security made an announcement today that will drastically change the face of deportation for those who came to the US before the age of 16.

The announcement says that in order to shift their attention to those “who pose a national security or public safety risk,” such as immigrants convicted of crimes those immigrants who are described as, “productive young people” may receive deferred action for a period of two years and avoid removal from the country or evade entering into the removal proceedings.  Those who qualify for deferment are eligible to apply for work authorization, and the two year deferment is also renewable.  This deferment is not considered amnesty nor a permanent solution, but it does bide time to receive permanent residency.

In order to apply as a “Low Enforcement Priority” there are specific criteria and each decision is made on a case by case basis by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The criteria for eligibility are:

  1. Came to theUnited Statesunder the age of 16;
  2. Have continuously resided in theUnited Statesfor a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in theUnited Stateson the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of theUnited States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty

If you meet the above criteria it is important to consult a lawyer.  Meeting the requirements is only one part of the process.  A lawyer will help you prove to USCIS that you are eligible and assist you with filing the paperwork properly.  This can be a lengthy process and if your paperwork is incomplete or completed incorrectly USCIS may throw your case out which would result in restarting the whole process.  For some, time is of the essence and the right lawyer will recognize your time constraints.

At The Law Office of Kravitz and Guerra, Mr. Kravitz has over 30 years of experience with immigration law and understands the nuances and technicalities of immigration law.  In light of this new announcement it is crucial to choose a law office that has a successful history with immigration law to facilitate a successful future for you.

Disclaimer: The hiring of a Lawyer is an important decision which should not be solely based on this article alone. Before hiring an attorney, be sure to verify information regarding their experience and qualifications.