Details about the deferred action application revealed
August 12, 2012
Now that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced details about the application for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), the Dreamers are one step closer to having their American dream come true.
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) estimates that some 936.930 young undocumented immigrants, aged between 15 and 30, may qualify to apply for deportation deferred action and a work permit valid for two years under the new program.
Who can apply for the Deferred Action program?
The requirements include being 31 or younger and having arrived in the country before the age of 16; having resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years by June 15, 2012; not having been convicted of a felony or a “significant” misdemeanor; currently being enrolled in school or having graduated from high school; having earned a GED certificate or having served in the U.S. military.
The Department of Homeland Security classifies offenses such as burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse, illegal possession of weapons, driving under the influence of toxic substances or drug distribution and trafficking as “significant misdemeanors”.
According to the IPC, 70 percent of beneficiaries of the Deferred Action are of Mexican origin, but there is a large population from Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Asia who could benefit from the program.
Applicants will have to pay $85 for the biometrics test, which includes fingerprints and a digital photograph. Those applying for a work permit must pay a fee of $365.
Application forms will be available starting on August 15.
The information provided by the applicant in the form will be kept confidential, including information about the applicant’s parents or legal guardians. That is, this information may not be used to start deportation, except in some cases where the applicant meets the USCIS requirements to be referred to Immigration and Customs or an Immigration Court.
It’s important that applicants seek help from immigration lawyers, community centers or organizations that defend the rights of immigrants for guidance and assistance in completing the application.
This deferred action is a step forward for “dreamers”, but it is only a temporary one. The comprehensive solution for these young people with great potential will only be achieved when Congress approves the DREAM Act.