On June 15, 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children, who are now between the ages of 16-31, and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, and would also be eligible for work authorization.
Ruben Reyes speaks to those in attendance on do's and dont's when filling out the deferred action application at a seminar held in Douglas Sept. 6. Trisha Maldonado/Douglas Dispatch
On September 6, the Consulate of Mexico in Douglas along with the University of Arizona South co-hosted “Train the Trainers on Deferred Action,” with guest speaker, Immigration Lawyer Ruben Reyes.
Approximately 55 people attended the training in the Douglas Library conference room.
Participants were informed of the impact the Deferred Action Bill would have on the Douglas Community as well as the immigration benefits the students of Douglas would be able to attain.
Reyes presented the audience with the guidelines the applicants would have to meet.
· Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
· Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday.
· Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time.
· Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS.
· Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012.
· Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
· Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
“This application will follow them through the rest of their immigration status life, do not start off with a lie,” is one of the most important things to remember when filling out the application, Reyes said.
There has been much controversy over the bill.
On August 15, Governor Jan Brewer had released a strongly worded executive order preventing deferred action recipients from obtaining driver's licenses or any other unspecified "public benefits" in Arizona.
Deferred action status does not make its recipients legal immigrants per se; it's more a limbo state where the immigrants are now not deportable and legally able to work but are not progressing toward a green card or other permanent legal status, Reyes said.
Many students are afraid that once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, has their information they will be easily traceable to be deported, after the two year period has expired.
“This is one of the many concerns people have when they come to me, I tell them either way if you don’t apply for the deferred action you will still be deportable,” Reyes said. “What happens to all of these young people if there's a change in administration in a few months, we don’t know.”
Applicants for deferred deportation must pay a $465 paperwork fee that is expected to cover the cost of processing the work permit, background check, and for finger printing.
If would information on deferred action or know someone that would go to www.uscis.gov for additional information. You may also contact Ruben Reyes at (602) 279-0818.