Deferred Action Overview
Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops
By now most people have heard of the Obama administration's June 15th announcement of a new policy providing some immigrants who were brought to this country as children an opportunity to avoid deportation. This is referred to as "deferred action from deportation", and allows the Department of Homeland Security to use its judgment and not deport people that they determine to be a low priority for immigration enforcement. So do any of your employees qualify for deferred action?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has put forward a list of guidelines that can help to determine who is eligible for deferred action. Those who meet these guidelines may be granted two years of deferment from deportation, subject to renewal, as well as eligibility to apply for work permits. This does NOT provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship. While each request for deferred action will be decided on a case-by-case basis, those persons who meet the following age, residency, education and legal requirements may be eligible:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the United States before turning 16
- Have lived in the United States continuously since June 15, 2007 up to the present time
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012 and at the time of submitting a request for consideration for deferred action
- Entered the United States before June 15, 2012 without inspection or whose lawful immigration statues expired as of June 15, 2012
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
The bottom line: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for deferred action from deportation on August 15th. Applicants must fill out the required forms and pay a fee of $465. The USCIS warns applicants to be aware of scams; there is no expedited process for applying for deferred action, though con artists may claim to be able to rush an application for a fee.
For more information on deferred action, the filing process and links to the forms required for applications, visit the USCIS website (www.uscis.gov). You can also call their hotline (1-800-375-5283) from 8am-8pm for assistance in English or Spanish.
The Department of Homeland Security's website (http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-process) also offers more information, plus a link to an information page in Spanish.
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Please contact Margaret Quaassdorff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-405-2567 with any questions or concerns.
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