- Sec. Napolitano Announces Major Change In Immigration Policy
- June 22, 2012
- Law Firm: Fowler White Boggs P.A. - Tampa Office
Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, announced on June 15 that effective immediately, certain undocumented individuals who were brought to the United States as young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal and for the granting of work permits.
Under this directive, individuals will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis, if they (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 today’s date and are present in the United States today; (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; and (5) are not above the age of thirty.
Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will be granted in two year increments, subject to renewal. The Department of Homeland Security cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. Deferred action confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship. It only allows certain individuals meeting the criteria above to avoid being removed from the U.S. or placed into removal proceedings, and in certain situations to also receive a work permit.