New Policy Postpones Deportation of Young Undocumented Immigrants

person in handcuffs

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

On August 15, 2012, the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service began accepting applications to the new program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The program is open to undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before turning 16 and who were age 30 or younger as of June 15, 2012. In addition, to qualify, applicants must be able to prove that they:

  • Have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least five years
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanor, or of three or more other misdemeanors
  • Are currently in school or have earned a high school diploma or GED, or have served in the U.S. military

Young immigrants who are approved for participation in the program will be protected from deportation for a period of two years and can be authorized to work in the United States during that time. Both the work permits and the deportation protection may be renewed indefinitely.

Over 1 Million Young Immigrants May Qualify

While the program does not provide a path to citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, it could help prevent deportation for more than 1 million young immigrants and allow them the opportunity to seek employment legally in the U.S.

Applicants to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must provide proof of identity, such as a passport or other government photo ID, as well as documentation proving that all other eligibility criteria are met. For more information about applying for deportation protection and employment authorization through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or for assistance with an application, contact an experienced immigration lawyer.