White House Curtails Deportation of Young Undocumented Immigrants Brought to U.S. as Children

Los Angeles Immigration Attorney Henry A. Posada examines the key elements of this new enforcement policy

Jun 27, 2012, 14:46 ET from Law Offices of Henry A. Posada

LOS ANGELES, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Immigration laws represent an ever-shifting landscape, and it is incumbent upon legal professionals like Henry A. Posada, a reputable immigration attorney in Los Angeles, to stay on top of the latest developments. According to Mr. Posada, President Obama's recent announcement regarding the U.S. government's new approach to immigration enforcement constitutes a major change in federal policy.

Though the DREAM Act still languishes in Congress, President Obama announced on June 15, 2012 that the Department of Homeland Security will proceed on its own to bring some elements of that legislation into force: namely, an effective end to the deportation of young undocumented immigrants brought here as children by their parents. According to a memorandum issued by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, an individual qualifies for this revised exercise of prosecutorial discretion if he or she:

  • came to the United States under the age of 16
  • is present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 and has continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before June 15, 2012
  • is in school, has a high school diploma or GED, or is a veteran
  • does not have a felony, significant or multiple misdemeanors on record, and does not pose a threat to national security or public safety
  • is younger than 31 years old

This policy does not confer legal status on those who meet the necessary criteria. Rather, it serves as a "period of deferred action," allowing these young immigrants to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation and procure a work permit. In other words, President Obama's imperative offers qualifying immigrants a reprieve to contribute to their communities and acquire legal immigrant status through the proper channels. This latest development does not alter the existing process for pursuing a pathway to citizenship. 

It is important to note that there is still no guidance on applying for Deferred Action. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has 60 days from the date of Secretary Napolitano's June 15th announcement to create a process for accepting such requests. Therefore, people should not submit an application right now because it will be rejected.

The Law Offices of Henry A. Posada will continue to stay abreast of the latest developments in this important policy change and will be available to answer questions from the public and consult with prospective candidates for Deferred Action. In anticipation of the promulgation of official guidelines, prospective Deferred Action candidates should start compiling the necessary documentation, such as birth certificates and school records, to establish their eligibility. Mr. Posada will issue a further press release once USCIS publishes these guidelines.

To learn more about Henry A. Posada, his background as an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, and his experience helping immigrants acquire benefits (such as work permit for California residents), please visit online at www.hposadalaw.com.

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SOURCE Law Offices of Henry A. Posada