Immigration Creates Hope for DREAMers

19 June 2012 Labor & Employment Law Perspectives Blog

  Dustin J. O’Quinn

On June 15, 2012 the Department of Homeland Security formally announced that it will offer deferred action and work authorization to “DREAMers,” individuals with unlawful presence in the United States in accordance with provisions in the proposed DREAM Act.  The policy will grant qualified immigrants the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally.  This new development brings hope to immigrants and their families. It is not, however, a permanent solution and does not grant permanent legal status to anyone.

Eligible individuals must:

  • Have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen
  • Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012
  • Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a “significant misdemeanor offense,” three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • Have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012 

The deferred action offer will be available to those in deportation proceedings, those with final removal orders, as well as to those who apply affirmatively.

The Administration is not yet accepting applications for this action. Within sixty days – by the middle of August – the Administration expects to issue guidance and information about how eligible individuals can request deferred action and work authorization.

Unfortunately, this policy may open the door for fraud and deception by so-called “Notarios.” In the United States, notarios have no legal background and cannot legally practice law or represent clients. Anyone claiming they can submit an application or charging a fee for applying for deferred action should NOT be trusted until the process has been announced by the federal government. An immigrant’s case can be delayed by notarios acting in bad faith, resulting in penalties and even deportation.

Be sure to contact a licensed attorney for more information on applying for deferred action and work authorization. 

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