What You Need to Know About Deferred Action for DREAM Act-Eligible Youth

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On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that certain young people who meet specific requirements are a low-enforcement priority, and can apply for Deferred Action for a period of two years, with the possibility of renewal.

According to Raluca Oncioiu, director of Immigration Legal Services for Catholic Charities Community Services, “Catholic Charities is prepared to engage in community outreach and to provide resources and advice for young people who might be eligible for deferred action while we wait for additional information about the application process to be released [by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service].”

Community-based organizations, schools and GED programs can request a presentation about Deferred Action from Catholic Charities by calling the New York State New Americans Hotline: 1-800-566-7636.

To be considered for deferred action, individuals must:

  • Have come to the United States under the age of 16 and not be above the age of 30.
  • Have resided in the United States continuously for at least five years before June 15, 2012, and have been present in the United States as of June 15, 2012.
  • Be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or be honorably discharged veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  • Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense or multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Understanding Deferred Action:

    • Deferred Action is an administrative action in which DHS decides to defer removal of an individual (prosecutorial discretion).
    • Deferred Action does not confer lawful status .
    • Those who have been granted Deferred Action are eligible to apply for employment authorization, a card issued by the government that can also help an individual obtain a social security number, open a bank account, and obtain a driver’s license .

Find answers to more FAQs on the USCIS website.

More resources (attachments)

“Deferred Action for Undocumented Young People”
“Deferred Action Fact Sheet”

WARNING: No application procedure is currently in place. United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is developing an application procedure which will be announced in August. DO NOT APPLY FOR DEFERRED ACTION BEFORE THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS ANNOUNCED.

Call the New York State New Americans Hotline (formerly known as the New York State Immigration Hotline) at 1-800-566-7636 for more information, or to check on whether the application process has been announced.

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