Soon after announcing the launch of a “deferred action” program to suspend immigration enforcement actions against qualifying individuals who came to the U.S. as children, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) started to issue clarifying interpretations related to the elements needed for qualification.
Both the White House and DHS have made it clear that eligible participants in the deferred action program cannot have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors. Qualified participants cannot otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety either.
But when does someone constitute “a threat to national security or public safety”?
According to DHS, “if a background check or other information uncovered during the review of an individual’s request for deferred action indicates that the individual’s presence in the U.S. threatens public safety or national security, he or she will be ineligible for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion of any kind.” The evidence that an individual poses such a threat includes, but it not limited to: “gang membership, participation in criminal activities, or participation in other activities that threaten the United States.”
It is not necessary for an individual to have been convicted of a crime in order for DHS to determine that they have participated in gangs or activities that “threaten the United States.”
If you are an individual in need of immigration assistance, do not hesitate to contact our office for an appointment to speak with a qualified immigration lawyer at (847) 564-0712. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information on how we might assist you in any of a variety of ways.