USCIS Releases New ‘Deferred Action’ Guidelines

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

Immigration officials on Aug. 3 released updated information on the July 15 announcement of new guidelines on the deferred action portion of the Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children directive. The announcement came in preparation for the Aug. 15 implementation date.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on July 15 announced that some immigrants, who came to the US as children and met other requirements, could be eligible to receive deferred action for being in the country illegally, a decision that could allow them to stay in the country illegally without the threat of deportation.

The announcement garnered applause from undocumented immigrants and their supporters who see it as a path to legal residency, work permits and driver’s licenses in California.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is finalizing the details and is scheduled to make all forms, instructions and additional information available on Aug. 15, according to a press release. At that time, USCIS will begin to accept applications online.

According to the new guidelines:

–Requestors – those in removal proceedings, those with final orders, and those who have never been in removal proceedings – will be able to affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals with USCIS.
–Requestors will use a form developed for this specific purpose.
–Requestors will mail their deferred action request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox.
–All requestors must provide biometrics and undergo background checks.
–Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.
–The four USCIS Service Centers will review requests.

More information will be available on Aug. 15 at Requests submitted before August 15, 2012 will be rejected.

Wary of the potential for scam artists to take advantage of and defraud potentially eligible applicants, immigrant rights groups and elected officials on Tuesday held a press conference to warn the undocumented youth to only seek assistance from reputable groups.

“It’s time to make the dream come true. So eligible youth must take every precaution in the application process to do it right and to avoid fraudulent service providers,” said Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-31). “Immigrant youth should seek assistance from trusted organizations in our communities to walk them through the application process,” he said.

“I’m pleased that USCIS is taking the necessary steps to implement President Obama’s deferred action policy which gives our youth the opportunity to put their education to work for the country they love and call home.”

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August 9, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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