In the wake of President Obama’s recent announcement of an executive order granting so-called “deferred action” in favor of qualified sons and daughters of illegal immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has issued further guidance as to how this policy will be implemented.
Deferred action, as previously explained on this blog, is a policy of temporary refusal to prosecute certain individuals while Congress is attempting to reach a legislative solution to protect individuals who were brought to this country innocently as children.
As a consequence of the new deferred action policy, DHS has advised that:
Effective immediately, agents working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), the Border Patrol and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), should not place individuals into removal proceedings if they fit the criteria for deferred action (see prior June postings on this blog).
For those already in immigration proceedings who have been offered administrative closure under the previous prosecutorial discretion and review program, ICE will begin making determinations about deferred action right away.
For other persons in removal proceedings, ICE is directed to implement the deferred action program within 60 days after the June 15 executive announcement.
For those not in removal proceedings, USCIS has been directed to devise a plan that allows people aged 15 and older to affirmatively apply for both deferred action and work authorization.
The American Immigration Lawyers’ Association also advises individuals who might qualify for deferred action to contact the Law Enforcement Center’s 24-7 hotline at 1-855-448-6903 or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate at 1-888-351-4024 if they are about to be removed.
If you are in need of legal assistance with an immigration matter, you can also contact our office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might be of assistance.