Friday, August 3, 2012

DHS Outlines Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

The Department of Homeland Security today provided additional information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process during a national media call in preparation for the August 15 implementation date.

On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is finalizing a process by which potentially eligible individuals may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

USCIS expects to make all forms, instructions, and additional information relevant to the deferred action for childhood arrivals process available on August 15, 2012. USCIS will then immediately begin accepting requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals.

Information shared during today’s call includes the following highlights:

• Requestors – those in removal proceedings, those with final orders, and those who have never been in removal proceedings – will be able to affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals with USCIS.

• Requestors will use a form developed for this specific purpose.

• Requestors will mail their deferred action request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox.

• All requestors must provide biometrics and undergo background checks.

• Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.

• The four USCIS Service Centers will review requests.

Additional information regarding the Secretary’s June 15 announcement will be made available on www.uscis.gov on August 15, 2012. It is important to note that this process is not yet in effect and individuals who believe they meet the guidelines of this new process should not request consideration of deferred action before August 15, 2012. Requests submitted before August 15, 2012 will be rejected. Individuals who believe they are eligible should be aware of immigration scams. Unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may try to take advantage of you by charging a fee to submit forms to USCIS on your behalf. Visit www.uscis.gov/avoidscams for tips on filing forms, reporting scams and finding accredited legal services. Remember, the Wrong Help Can Hurt! An informational brochure and flyer are also available on www.uscis.gov.

UPDATE (August 5):  For Julia Preston's take on the announcement in the N.Y. Times, click here.

KJ

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