DREAM ACT – FINALLY ELIGIBLE FOR RELIEF INCLUDING WORK AUTHORIZATION
The Obama Administration recognizing that the DREAM Act may not soon pass, has finally made a policy to assist young people brought into this country as children. Often referred to as DREAMERS, the Administration announced a stop-gap policy to assist while awaiting passage of the DREAM Act or more comprehensive reform. In the policy announced today many young foreign nationals who were brought into the country before their sixteenth birthday will not have to fear being removed, and will be able to obtain work authorization!
The policy change will apply to teenagers and young adults under 30 who are in high school or completed high school, obtained a GED or were honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or Coast Guard. They must have come to the United States before their sixteenth birthday and have been here for five years, as of June 15, 2007. They must also be in the United States today, June 15, 2012 to be eligible. The USCIS will conduct background checks for all applicants and they cannot have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat.
For those eligible, this will finally mean a way to obtain work authorization and the ability to remain in the United States under the color of law! It is a welcome and needed change.
This policy will provide immediate relief for those qualifying young adults who face removal. For young people in proceedings, the government has been directed to grant deferred removal for two years. For those not in proceedings, the government is directed to make a process to grant deferred removal so such individuals can obtain work authorization.
This is truly welcome new! While the DREAM Act has not passed, this is relief for “talented, patriotic young people,” as Obama stated in his news conference this afternoon. He urged for the DREAM Act to be passed, as well as comprehensive reform. President Obama noted that John McCain, Ted Kennedy and George W. Bush came together in support of comprehensive reform. We have drawn out strength as a nation of immigrants, said Obama.
Should you have any questions about the new policy or are seeking legal assistance, please contact our office.
If you need help or advise, call us at 212-944-9420.