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President Obama has implemented immigration policy to help children, youth and young adults. Is this his version of the Dream Act?

President Obama’s Immigration Policy was issued today to assist children, youth and young adults.  Is this his version of the Dream Act? 

On June 15, 2012, President Obama issued a memorandum setting forth the exercise of prosecutorial discretion for individuals who were brought to the United States as children.  What does this mean for children, teenagers and young adults who are here in the United States illegally?  According to President Obama individuals who:

 

  • Came to the United States under the age of 16;
  • Has continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of the June 15, 2012 and is present in the United States on the date of the June 15, 2012 memorandum;
  • Is currently in school, has graduated from high school, has obtained a general education development certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  • Has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
  • Is not above the age of 30.

 

How will this be applied?  There are three different ways this will be applied to individuals.

 

1.   ISSUES WITH ICE, CBP and USCIS: Individuals who encounter issues with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

 

  • With respect to individuals who meet the above criteria, ICE and CBP should immediately exercise their discretion, on an individual basis, in order to prevent low priority individuals from being placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States.

 

  • USCIS is instructed to implement this memorandum consistent with its existing guidance regarding the issuance of notices to appear.

 

2.   IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS: Individual who are in removal proceedings but who are not yet subject to a final order of removal, and who meet the above criteria:

 

  • ICE should exercise prosecutorial discretion, on an individual basis, for individuals who meet the above criteria by deferring action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, in order to prevent low priority individuals from being removed from the United States.
  • ICE is instructed to use its Office of the Public Advocate to permit individuals who believe they meet the above criteria to identify themselves through a clear and efficient process.
  • ICE is directed to begin implementing this process within 60 days of this June 15, 2012 memorandum.
  • ICE is also instructed to immediately begin the process of deferring action against individuals who meet the above criteria whose cases have already been identified through the ongoing review of pending cases before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

 

3.   NOT IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS:  With respect to individuals who are not currently in removal proceedings and meet the above criteria, and pass a background check:

 

  • USCIS should establish a clear and efficient process for exercising prosecutorial discretion, on an individual basis, by deferring action against individuals who meet the above criteria and are at least 15 years old, for a period of two years, subject to renewal, in order to prevent low priority individuals from being placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States.
  • The USCIS process should also be available to individuals subject to a final order of removal regardless of their age.
  • USCIS is directed to begin implementing this process within 60 days of the date of this memorandum.

 

WORK AUTHORIZATION

 

For individuals who are granted deferred action by either USCIS or ICE, then USCIS shall accept applications to determine whether those individuals qualify for work authorization during this period of deferred action.

 

CONTACT Scales of Justice, LLP to discuss your situation and to see if you qualify for this relief.  We offer free consultations and can be reached by telephone or email.

 

This article was written by Pablo A. Zamora, Esq. the Immigration Partner at Scales of Justice, LLP.  This article is purely information and should not be relied on as legal advice.  Speak to a qualified immigration attorney to determine your rights in your situation.  Each situation is different. 

 

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Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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