Aug 15, 2012 | By Sr. Mary Ellen Lacey, D.C.
On June 15, 2012, Janet Napolitano announced that undocumented youth who were less than 31 years old on that date and had come to the United States before they were 16 years old may be eligible to apply for deferred deportation and work authorization. They must also meet other criteria, including length of residence and education requirements, and there are criminal background limitations.
As of August 15, 2012, if they meet all delineated qualifying criteria, they may file a request with a specified USCIS office for deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal. If deferred action is granted, the individual would then be eligible for work authorization. While data varies, it is safe to say that about 1.5 million undocumented young people seem to qualify for this life enhancing administrative action.
NETWORK reinforces its support for this bold and long awaited Administrative relief. Unfortunately, this relief does not provide a path to citizenship and is not available to all childhood arrivals. As such, NETWORK continues to lobby for DREAM ACT and, ultimately, comprehensive Immigration Reform.
For list of specific qualifying criteria, deadlines and forms, see www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals
Take note of the following process issues and specifics at the above site.