Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Posted On: August 15, 2012

Deferred Action is a decision by the executive branch to postpone the deportation of a foreign national as an act of selective enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the authority to grant Deferred Action to any noncitizen at any stage of the deportation process. Deferred Action has been used by Presidents of both political parties to temporarily stop the removal of foreign nationals for Humanitarian reasons. President Obama has decided to focus on the arrest and deportation of dangerous criminals, national security risks and immigration violators. Accordingly, the Obama Administration’s “deferred action” initiative is for unauthorized youth who were brought to this country as children. Those youth are commonly referred to as “DREAMers” because they comprise most of the individuals who meet the general requirements of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

It is very important to understand that while the Deferred Action eligibility criteria may seem to be straight forward, immigration law is complicated and an application for Deferred Action can lead to consequences for a foreign national. Applicants should consider seeking the advice of a licensed immigration attorney before submitting an application for Deferred Action

On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key eligibility requirements may request consideration for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and, as a result, may be eligible for work authorization. Only individuals who can demonstrate through documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action under this process. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines set forth in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum.

This process does not result in lawful status for persons who have received deferred action arrivals because deferring action is only a discretionary determination to defer removal action as an act of prosecutorial discretion and does not provide you with a lawful status. Also, keep in mind that deferred action does not confer lawful permanent resident status or a path to citizenship, only Congress acting through its legislative authority can confer these rights.

In order to request consideration of deferred action for child hood arrivals - eligible youth will mail their request to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The total USCIS filing fees will be $465. USCIS released the requisite forms (I-821D), (I-765) and (I-765WS) late yesterday afternoon. They are available for download at www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals .

Eligibility Requirements

• You were born after June 15, 1981; under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
• Arrived in the United States before the age of 16;
• Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
• Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
• Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012 or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
• Are currently in school, graduated or received a certificate of completion from high school, obtained a general educational development certificate (GED), or that you are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces; and
• You are at least 15 years of age at the time of filing, if you have never been in removal proceedings or if your case was terminated before your request;
• Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

A brief, casual, and innocent absence from the United States will not interrupt your continuous residence. If you were absent from the United States for any period of time, your absence will be considered brief, casual, and innocent, if it was before August 15, 2012, and the absence was short and reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose for the absence; the absence was not because of an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal, the absence was not because of an order of voluntary departure, or an administrative grant of voluntary departure before you were placed in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings; and the purpose of the absence and/or your actions while outside the United States were not contrary to law.

If a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals is denied, USCIS will apply its policy guidance governing the referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). If a case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, the case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except if DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.


USCIS will begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action today, Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

To file a request, please collect documents as evidence to show you meet the guidelines, then complete the USCIS forms (I-821D), (I-765) and (I-765WS), and finally mail the forms and filing fee to the USCIS. Once your filing is received, the USCIS will provide you with a receipt notice to monitor the status of your filing.

Even though this is very exciting news for our youth, it is extremely important that these young people get quality legal advice from lawyers and not ill-informed sources, since the young population is easier to be taken advantage of. You should only trust information from a reliable source, such as an official government website or reputable legal or charitable organizations, you may also consult with a qualified immigration attorney before requesting deferred action.

Supporting Evidence

• Birth Certificate or Passport
• Employment records, Medical records, Financial Records, Military Records that all show that you came to the U.S before the age of 16 and resided in the U.S. for at least five years before June 15, 2012 and were physically present in the U.S. as of June 15, 2012
• School records - Diplomas, GED certificates, report cards, school transcripts and other evidence of enrollment

MVP Law Group is ready and willing to help this young population of DREAMer’s.