Screen shot from uscis.gov (U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services)
Homeland Security officials provided more details today on how young undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for deferred action, temporary legal status under a new Obama administration policy that's been shortened to an acronym, DACA, for "deferred action for childhood arrivals."
The guidelines were posted today, along with a brochure and an illustrated flyer with the basics: That applicants must have arrived in the U.S. before age 16, were no older than 30 as of last June 15, had resided in the United States for five continuous years since June 15, 2007, have no felony or other serious convictions or national security problems, and so forth.
There will be a processing fee of $465, although the application forms are still being developed. A limited number may be able to obtain fee waivers. Biometrics and background checks will be needed, too. From today's statement posted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
Photo by stevechihos/Flickr (Creative Commons)
By mid-August, hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who believe they may qualify for temporary legal status under a new Obama administration policy are expected to begin making their cases for why they should stay.
What they'll be applying for is deferred action, which does not lead to permanent legal status but would at least give them temporary relief for deportation, renewable after two years, and the ability to apply for work permits.
They must meet certain criteria, including that they are no older than 30, have a clean record and have been in the United States continuously for at least five years. But what about those who might otherwise qualify, but are too old?
Young people who meet most criteria but are over 30 or have another slight qualification issue (such as arriving in the U.S. just after the cutoff date) may not be entirely out of luck, Telemundo legal expert and immigration attorney Alma Rosa Nieto said in a Q&A last week. But to see if they stand any chance of relief via deferred action, they must take a wait-and-see approach. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency charged with implementing the policy, is still working out a strategy and there are questions that have yet to be answered.
Photo by Neighborhood Centers/Flickr (Creative Commons)
A young man signs a petition during a deferred action informational event in Houston, Texas, June 20, 2010
It's been more than a month since President Obama announced that his administration would not pursue deportation for some young undocumented immigrants, instead allowing them to apply for deferred action, which would give them temporary legal status and relief from deportation.
If they meet certain criteria, including that they are no older than 30, have a clean record and have been in the United States continuously for at least five years, undocumented young people who arrived in the country before age 16 could be eligible to stay on a renewable temporary basis, and to apply for work permits. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials were tasked with creating a process to accept applications. And as the clocks ticks toward implementation in August, in spite of challenges and concerns about the lack of a permanent solution, many of those who could qualify are hopeful.
Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images
Addressing whether he would do away with President Obama's new plan to grant temporary legal status to some undocumented young people who came to the United States as minors, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said today at a Latino elected leaders' conference:
The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure.
As President, I won’t settle for a stop-gap measure. I will work with Republicans and Democrats to find a long-term solution. I will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. And I will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil but resolute manner.
Now the question is what kind of long-term solution or solutions Romney is talking about. His statement was made
As the dust settles on Friday's announcement by President Obama that he won't pursue deportation for some young undocumented immigrants, attention has turned to the short- and long-term impacts of potentially hundreds of thousands of young people getting temporary legal status and work permits, some with college degrees they haven't been able to fully take advantage of.
The plan is to allow undocumented immigrants 30 and younger who came to the U.S. before age 16 to apply for deferred action, a two-year deferment of removal. Those who qualify can apply for work authorization. It's not permanent legal status, but the implications are still staggering, even if only half those eligible join the job market. Here are a couple of good takes on how the development could affect the job market and higher education: