A new policy from the Obama administration that allows undocumented youth to continue living in the United States without fear of deportation took effect Wednesday. Here is information on who qualifies and what resources to use to be protected by the executive order.
A new policy from the Obama administration that allows undocumented youth who meet certain requirements to continue to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation took effect today.
This policy does not grant citizenship, but can defer deportation for millions of immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were children. Those who qualify will be exempted from deportation for two years and can reapply every two years.
This new policy has several qualifications and is limited to those who meet these criteria:
- You must have entered the United States at the age of 16 or younger.
- You must have been in the United States for five years prior to June 15, 2012.
- You have to be older than 15 to apply.
- You must not be older than 30 to apply.
- You must have graduated from high school, enrolled in school or have served in the U.S. military.
- You must submit to a criminal background check and not have a criminal record (with the exception of a few misdemeanors.)
Once all of these requirements are met, a person is eligible to apply for deferred action and be legally allowed to work in the United States.
When filing an application for deferred deportation there are several documents that must be submitted to prove that an applicant came to the United States before the age of 16 and has lived in the United State for five years.
Financial records, medical records, school records, employment or military records are all accepted.
To prove that an applicant is in school, graduated or is in the military, they can submit several other documents. A diploma, GED certificate, report card, high school transcript, report of separation form, military personnel record or a military health record are all accepted.
The application consists of a Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and a Form I-765W, worksheet.
The cost to apply for deferred deportation is $465 and the paperwork can be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS) website.
To apply for a fee exemption, an applicant must submit a letter and documentation that they are under the age of 18, in foster care, suffer from a chronic disability or have accumulated more than $25,000 in debt over the past 12 months as a result of medical expenses. Their income must also be less than 150 percent of the U.S. poverty level.
When applying for deferred action, a person should not travel outside of the United States after August 15, 2012. This will make a person ineligible for deferred action.
The UCIS website has all of the information and forms need to apply for deferred action, and undocumented immigrants wishing to apply should be wary of other organizations.
UCIS warns against common scams that prey on undocumented immigrants. Local businesses, dot-com websites and scam emails that claim they can help a person apply for deferred action for a monetary fee should not be relied upon.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, as many as 1.76 million people could be eligible for a grant of relief from deportation.