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How else will America benefit? Researchers who have studied the impact of legalization found long-term improvements on immigrants, who became legal because they were allowed to open bank accounts, invest in higher education, buy houses, and start businesses. Legalization will not jeopardize anyone’s job. In fact, it will add value to others who are employed in places such as food stores, restaurants, clothing stores, appliance stores and car dealerships. Further evidence of growth is that immigrants are more likely to start a business than native-born Americans and, those who obtain advanced degrees, file patents which enhance job creations and increase innovation for all Americans.
Deferred Action will reduce the drop-out rate of undocumented students from who, like their parents, work illegally and thus continue the cycle. The Deferred Action initiative will encourage students to remain in school until graduation and pursue a career, rather than a job, in positions that are currently in demand. These positions require at least some college, so universities will also benefit from an influx of students who, in the past, were ineligible to attend.
Even though Deferred Action is temporary, we hope it is the first step toward legal recognition. It’s a step in an economically upward direction of progress and wealth. Legalization will increase these immigrants income, income tax, and spending. When given the prospect for personal improvement, historically, immigrants thrive and create more opportunities for others, continuing the cycle of prosperity in our country.
There are approximately 2,100,000 youths nationwide that would qualify for this program. They study in our schools, speak English, play in our neighborhoods, and pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but on paper. They were brought to this country by their parentssometimes even as infants and yet they live under the threat of deportation to a country they may know nothing about.
On Friday June 15, 2012, President Obama announced that he will stop deporting young immigrants who meet certain requirements. President Obama said this program, Deferred Action for Undocumented Youths, is a direct response to our broken immigration system and will temporarily eliminate the threat of deportation for youths who would qualify for relief under the DREAM Act, which failed to pass Congress last year. This action gives Congress the time to act and help these young immigrants. It makes no sense to expel talented young people who want to staff our labs, start new businesses, and contribute to our country simply because of the actions of their parents.
What is the new program? Deferred action is a decision to postpone removal (deportation) during the two year program period. It does not give any lawful status. If approved, you will not accrue unlawful presence in the United States while the program is in effect, however, deferred action does not forgive any prior or subsequent unlawful presence. If you show an economic necessity for employment, you will receive employment authorization during the program. Deferred action can be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion or non-renewed by the agency. This is an election year and immigration is and will be a hot topic in the election. We do not know who will be President next year. We do not know who what the makeup of Congress will be in 2013. If you qualify, it is imperative that you file this year as we simply do not know if the program will continue to exist next year. What the new program is not.
Deferred action is not amnesty. Deferred action is not immunity. Deferred action is not permanent. Deferred action is not a pathway to a green card or citizenship. Deferred action is not legal status. Youth that qualify cannot vote or petition for family members. Simply put whatever legal status you had before being accepted into the program you retain upon its completion.
Who is eligible to apply for the new program?
According to the Department of Homeland Security’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be eligible for deferred action, individuals must:
- Entered the United States before age 16;
- Was living in the United States on June 15, 2012 and for the previous five years;
- Currently be 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;
- 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;
- Must be 30 or younger.
You will also have to complete a background check. It is imperative that you discuss this matter with a qualified immigration attorney. Before you apply, be certain that you qualify! What do I get with the new program? If you prove an economic necessity, you will get work authorization. This is not new to immigration law. While living in the United States people must have a way to support themselves. You will also be eligible to apply for a social security card and a driver’s license. It should allow you to go to college, although we are awaiting clarification on this issue. The program is individual to you. What this means is every person must apply for themselves. For example, if your wife is granted deferred action, neither you nor your children would automatically receive any benefit. You would have to separately apply for yourself or your kids. When can I apply? DO NOT APPLY NOW! The program has yet to be implemented. The Department of Homeland Security has suggested August 15, 2012 as the implementation date. They will not accept any applications before that date. New information is being provided regularly. Contact us for the most up to date information available on when and how to apply. What kind of documents will I need to apply? This is subject to change as the Department of Homeland Security provides additional information. For now you will need: financial records, medical records, school records, employment records, military records, your birth certificate (translated into English), a full copy of your passport, and at least two passport photographs. You will also need a certified driver’s abstract and a criminal background check. Contact us for updated information. Beware of Immigration Fraud Don’t be fooled by friends or notaries who will help you with this process. They will you’re your money, but won’t be there to help you when the petition gets rejected. You need competent counsel; you need an American Immigration Lawyers Association trained attorney. Contact us today. Author’s Bio Andres Yoav Mejer from Andres Mejer & Associates, LLC, concentrates on Immigration and Traffic/DUI defense. He is the Author of The American Dream Shattered: The Dangers of Immigration Fraud. He is presently writing a book specifically on President Obama’s recent immigration announcement. He has also written two traffic ticket books: Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is Not an Option, and the The Truth About Your DUI. He is fluent in Spanish and Hebrew and is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and New York.