Obama Administration Kick Starts Measure for Young Illegal Immigrants

Secretary Janet Napolitano meets with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office

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Washington, DC – The Obama Administration on August 15 began accepting requests from people who came to the US as children and who meet specific guidelines to apply under a new US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) program that would let them avoid deportation and obtain a US work permit.

“USCIS has developed a rigorous review process for deferred action requests under guidelines issued by Secretary Napolitano,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Childhood arrivals who meet the guidelines and whose cases are deferred will now be able to live without fear of removal, and be able to more fully contribute their talents to our great nation,” added Mayorkas.

Under the announced guidelines, the applicants will have to pay $465 and provide proof of identity and eligibility, which could include a passport or birth certificate, school transcripts, medical and financial records and military service records.

In addition they have to satisfy the following conditions:
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

President Barack Obama on June 15 had described the predicament of the young illegal immigrants, saying, “Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life — studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class — only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.”

Obama promised, “Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security is taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people. Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings and apply for work authorization.”

President Obama was addressing journalists on June 15, after Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may request, on a case-by-case basis, consideration of deferred action.

The program does not, however, provide a permanent solution, as President Obama in his June 15 speech clarified, “Let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.”

More detailed information is available at the USCIS website under Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process (http://1.usa.gov/NGavQB). (IATNS)

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