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Updated information on the Dreamer Policy recently announced by President Obama.

On June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that qualifying young immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 will no longer be removed from the United States.  The policy is effective within 60 days of the announced date or by August 13, 2012.  To be eligible for the deferred action and procured a work permit an individual must prove the following:

1)     They were under 31 years old on June 15, 2012;

2)     Came to the United States under the age of 16;

3)     Has continuously resided in the United States for at least 5 years prior to June 15, 2012 and physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;

4)     Currently attending school, graduated high school, obtained a G.E.D. certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. armed forces or Coast Guard;

5)     Has not been convicted of a felony offense, significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offense, nor otherwise poses a threat to the community or national security.

*Prior to coming forward to apply for the work authorization or “”deferred action” there are certain dynamics of the policy that need significant consideration.

1)     The policy does not become effective until 60 days after the announcement, or August 13th, 2012.  Prior to then a person CANNOT apply for deferred action.

 Until the government has informed the public how to apply, do not turn yourself in.

 Until the program begins a potential applicant should begin gathering the following information:

   i.      Documents showing your age on June 15, 2012, such as birth certificates or passport;

   ii.      Financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records demonstrating that you came to the U.S. before the age of 16, AND resided in the U.S. for at least 5 continuous years before June 15, 2012 and physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;   

  iii.      School records, diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts and other enrollment evidence, OR documentation as an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or Coast Guard.

 2)     Be aware of your criminal record

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not yet defined what is considered to be a “significant misdemeanor” or details about multiple minor misdemeanors.

  i.      If an individual has ever been arrested by the police be sure to consult an immigration attorney BEFORE applying for deferred action.

  ii.    If an indvidual is found to be ineligible due to their criminal history or because they are a danger to the community may be subject to removal or other immigration enforcement action.

 iii.   Rather than run the risk of facing removal or other immigration action because of criminal background it is critical to consult an immigration attorney to help interpret the vague standards of the program.

 3)     Ramifications after the two year time period

  1. This two-year program is not a permanent fix to halt all qualifying young immigrants from removal, nor does it grant immunity.  More likely this action is progressive step forward to give congress a two-year time period to pass the DREAM Act legislation. 

     ii.    Following the two years program, there can be detrimental repercussions for those who applied for deferred action because the future of this program is uncertain.

    iii.   If the DREAM Act is not passed by congress within the two years it is possible that the program is not renewed.  The end of the program could lead to mass removal order for illegal immigrants who had applied for and/or received deferred action.


This information is brought to you by Pablo Zamora, the Immigration Partner at Scales of Justice, LLP.  This information is purely for educational purposes and is based on the most recent information released by the U.S. government regarding the new Dreamer Policy as of the date of the posting of this blog.  Please speak with an immigration attorney regarding information on this new policy and to see how it applies to you.  You can call or email Pablo Zamora, Esq. at Scales of Justice, LLP at the following: (619) 796-1765 or by email at



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