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New Deferred Action Policy for Young Undocumented Immigrants

The new announcement from the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, states that certain young people who entered the United States at a very young age, do not pose a threat to the country’s national security and public safety. There are certain key criteria that they have to meet in order to keep themselves safe and to prevent them from entering into removal proceedings.

Such people who are found to meet the key criteria will be eligible to obtain the deferred action which will last for a period of two years. This deferred action must be renewed before it could expire following which they will be eligible to apply for employment authorization.

Secretary Napolitano has a view that the immigration laws of America must be enforced sensibly along with giving some consideration to the individual status of each individual case. The Secretary also states that these immigration laws are not designed to deport talented youngsters to the countries that they are not familiar with.

The Department of Homeland Security will only focus on enforcing deportation proceedings against individuals who are found to be a threat to the national security and public safety of the country. The DHS will remove violent criminals, immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes, people involving in felonies and people who violate the immigration laws.

Individuals who were brought to the United States, at a very young age will be eligible for deferred action. Such individuals must have resided in the United States for a period of 5 years. Deferred action is also available if the individual is currently in school or if the applicant had obtained graduation from high school. An individual who has obtained a general education development certification or a person who was honorably discharged from the US Armed Forces is also eligible for the deferred action.

An individual who seeks deferred action must not be convicted of any kind of criminal activities and must not pose a threat to America’s national security. The maximum age limit is thirty years; any individual who is over age 30 will not qualify for deferred action. To be eligible for deferred action, the individual must establish that he meets all the eligibility requirements by submitting verifiable documents. Only those individuals who are physically present in the United States are eligible as the people who are not in the United States at the time of applying will not be able to establish that they had resided in the United States continuously for a period of 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing an application.

Requests for deferred action and decisions on those requests are not the same for all cases. It is also not sure that all the requests will be granted. Granting of deferred action is not a path to US citizenship and it does not provide any kind of rights or immigration status.

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