DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, people who were brought to the United States before the age of 16 and meet certain criteria will be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those eligible will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
Today, in an unconstitutional move, President Obama thwarted the will of Congress and shunned the 20 million under and unemployed Americans by announcing he will grant work permits to 2-3 million illegal workers. Congress on three occasions rejected DREAM Act amnesties in part to help unemployed workers born here or who came here legally.
— Roy Beck, President, NumbersUSA
The Administration claims to be using its administrative discretion to implement this amnesty-in-place, which is similar in nature to the so-called DREAM Act. Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:
1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
5. Are not above the age of thirty.
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date.
DHS says that cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted, and that the use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right, immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. While this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes within sixty days.
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
See here for more information.