Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it has exercised its powers of prosecutorial discretion to officially declare as very low priority cases those educated and law abiding undocumented young men and women who have lived most of their lives in the US (commonly known as DREAMers.)
Under the program just announced, DREAMers who meet the requirements below may (in the near future) apply for employment authorization and protection from removal. To qualify, the DREAMer will have to show that…
- he or she came to US while under age of 16;
- has continuously resided in the US for at least 5 years prior to today;
- is currently in school, has graduated from high school or obtained a GED, or is an honorably discharged veteran of US armed forces;
- has not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor offense (I’m still trying to figure out what this is), multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
- is under 31 years old.
DREAMers currently in removal proceedings: DHS has instructed its prosecutors to immediately identify them and to close their removal proceedings. The DREAMers may then apply for employment authorization from USCIS.
All other DREAMers, *including those with final orders of removal*: They’ll be able to submit their applications for deferred action and employment authorization to the USCIS.
USCIS has 60 days to develop procedures to accept applications for deferred action and employment authorization from DREAMers, so PLEASE don’t apply just yet.
These are fast-developing news so stay tuned. If you think you may benefit, maybe it’s time to schedule a consultation with the abogado to review your case and to prepare you to live the American Dream. You deserve it.
“Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every way but one: on paper.”
President Obama describing the DREAMers