New Details Released on Deferred Action for DREAMers
August 7, 2012 | Tags: DACA | USCIS | DREAMers
New details became available on August 3 about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a new policy that will provide temporary protection from deportation ("deferred action") and temporary work authorization to certain individuals who arrived in the U.S. when they were under age 16, are currently out of status and were out of status as of June 15, 2012, among other criteria. The policy, a form of prosecutorial discretion, was announced by President Obama on June 15. Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the criteria may request deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization as well. While a positive step, DACA is not a permanent fix, as only Congress acting through its legislative authority can establish a pathway to permanent lawful status.
The USCIS on August 3 published extensive FAQs about the criteria, the process and the evidence that will be required, as well as an advisory about avoiding scams, such as notarios falsely promising to expedite applications for a fee. The new application form will be available for download from the USCIS website beginning August 15, and applications will be accepted starting that day. The new form will be required along with Form I-765 (Application for Work Authorization), and the total filing fees including biometrics will be $465. Neither fee waivers nor premium processing will be available. Fee exemptions will be permitted in very limited circumstances and must be requested and approved before submitting a deferred action application without a fee.
Individuals who think they may be eligible for deferred action and work authorization under this policy are urged to begin gathering documentation to support their application. More information on the types of evidence that may be submitted to meet the criteria can be found here, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
WSM is offering 30-minute consultations at a discounted rate of $100 for individuals who think they may be eligible under the new policy. We can help answer questions about eligibility, required evidence, and what the process entails. Please contact us at (415) 395-9331 if you are interested in scheduling a consultation. Also, check out a helpful blog posting by Laura Lichter of AILA on whether DREAMers should seek attorney assistance with their applications.