June 17, 2012 - President Obama announced that undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 and qualify under a specific set of guidelines will be, effective immediately, temporarily protected from deportation and granted employment authorization. Apsan Law Offices, an immigration firm has established important guidelines for undocumented immigrants as they begin to prepare for this momentous occasion.
Prsident Obama’s new program mirrors many of the same principals that were included in the Dream Act proposal authored by Senators Richard Durbin, Harry Reid, and Robert Menendez, last fall which was ultimately defeated when the Senate failed to invoke cloture and proceed to debate. The President's action signals a new approach to resolve a growing problem; enabling a major aggressive change in the administration effort towards a better and fair immigration reform.
“Everyone is very excited and pleased with the President’s direct and effective use of his Executive Power to set a course for comprehensive immigration reform. It’s been more than ten years since there has been any significant move towards resolving the nightmarish existence of young undocumented immigrants. Although this new status these youths will receive does not have a pathway to U.S. citizenship, it provides an opportunity for some million young people to join and contribute to the American culture,” commented Immigration attorney Moses Apsan in response to this important change in U.S. immigration policy.
President Obams was clear and forceful when he said at a Whitehouse press conference:
“Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.
Now, let's be clear -- this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It's not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. “
To qualify the individual must:
- Have arrived to the United States under the age of sixteen;
- have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding June 15, 2012, and is present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- be 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;
- not have 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 thirty.
What does it all mean today?
The Secretary of Homeland Security has ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to do the following:
- To those that appear qualified, ICE and CBP should immediately exercise their discretion to stop deportation, on an individual basis.
- There is no application available yet. It will take at least at least 60 days to put the program into effect.
- Do not trust unlicensed lawyers and Notarios. Be clear, there is nothing to file now.
- ICE is directed to begin implementing this process within 60 days of the date of this 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.
With respect to the individuals who are not currently in deportation proceedings and meet the 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.
- USCIS is directed to begin implementing this process within 60 days of the date of this memorandum.
So, what should an undocumented immigrant who would qualify do right now?
First, the should make an appointment and go see an experienced attorney - they should avoid Notario’s
Second, begin collecting evidence of their physical presence in the United States for the last five years.
For most people the best evidence will be through school records and tax returns.
Third, Anyone that believes they qualify should contact Apsan Law offices at 1-877- 873-8510 to begin preparation or go to the website www.apsanlaw.com.