Almost 1.8 million young illegal immigrants may qualify for temporary legal status under President Obama's deferred action program. This is more than double what experts initially expected when first Obama announced the program.
A big reason for the increase in numbers of people affected is that the guidelines for the deferred action program are far more expansive. It includes young people under 30 who did not graduate high school or receive a G.E.D. Previously, an applicant needed one of these degrees to be eligible.
Here is an overview on the deferred action program, as reported by the New York Daily News:
What is the Deferred Action Program?
The deferred action program is intended to help undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as infants or children. The program helps these young people who otherwise have no legal status to receive a two-year reprieve from being deported, which can be renewed. Individuals qualified under the program can gain the ability to work as well as receive benefits like getting a driver's license and Social Security number.
Who Qualifies for the Deferred Action Program?
To get deferred action you must have arrived here while under the age of 16 and you must have been under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012. In addition, you must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007 to present. If you do not have a high school diploma or G.E.D., you must be currently enrolled in school. Also, your criminal record can impact your eligibility.
How to Apply for the Deferred Action Program?
The government will begin accepting applications online on August 15. The fee to apply is $465 and covers the costs of getting the employment authorization document and biometrics (fingerprinting) fee.
The specific instructions for the deferred action program will be released on August 15. In the meantime, if you have any specific questions, you may want to contact an immigration attorney.
- Relief from Deportation (Migration Policy Institute)
- Green Card for Illegal Wife? (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)
- Obama's New Illegal Immigration Rules Mean Prepare for New Clients (FindLaw's Strategist)