Immigration laws are always evolving and changing, sometimes bringing new opportunities and hope. President Obama has initiated a new program to give young immigrants with no criminal record and who have completed some college or military service, the opportunity to defer deportation proceedings. Now, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in who were brought to the country as children can start the application process for a deportation reprieve.
For young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally, life can be a challenge. Feeling excluded from the only country you have ever known, is not only discouraging, it can be frightening. The new program should give these young immigrants hope: if you work hard, you can legally adjust and assimilate to life in the U.S., possibly even look forward to citizenship and naturalization.
Applicants in Miami, Florida and nationwide must be under the age of 31 as of June 15th and must have entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday.
Congress tried and failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would grant legal residency and the opportunity for citizenship to young immigrants. If Obama’s program is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the new program will allow the immigrants, known as DREAMers, additional opportunities to apply for a work permit and reapply for deportation deferment in the future.
While the program will not give illegal immigrants full legal residency, it allows children to live without fear of removal and to fully contribute their skills and talants. Critics of the program believe that it could open the door for fraud and takes jobs from Americans who are already unemployed. According to some authorities, up to 1.7 million immigrants could qualify for the deportation deferment program.
The application fee is $465 and should cover the staff to process the applications. In extreme situations, a small number of cases can have their fee waived. An experienced attorney can help you with documentation and filing and protect your rights involving deportation, removal, or naturalization.
Source: USA, “Young illegal immigrants can seek deportation reprieve,” Alan Gomez, August 15, 2012.