Musings on Immigration

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Update on the Obama Deferred Action Plan

It turns out that President Obama did NOT issue an Executive Order on Deferred Action for youth who entered the US before they turned 16 on June 15, 2012. Rather, DHS Secretary Napolitano issued a MEMO on a specific type of prosecutorial discretion to be exercised towards those youth. In her testimony before the House of Representatives on July 19, 2012, Secretary Napolitano stated that the "deferred action" status they are planning on giving applicants is not “amnesty,” and does not provide any legal status that would give them a pathway to permanent legal residence.

Secretary Napolitano defended her memo as Constitutional and in line with prior decisions on prosecutorial discretion. Clearly, she is on solid ground, but the question each applicant will have to ask is "Do I accept this offer?" Most eligible people will do so, and most will benefit tremendously.

Secretary Napolitano also mentioned that the guidelines and application process on the deferred action program would be available on August 1, 2012, and that applications would be available beginning on August 15. There will be an application fee, but the amount of the fee is yet unknown. We anticipate the fee to be between $750 and $1,000, given current filing fees in place for other immigration applications.

No lawyers or any other organization can be filling out application forms at this time, or accepting applications. Do not pay money to anyone at this time to complete applications for you. There will be time to do all this once the actual application process becomes known.

You should be beginning to accumulate documents to prove essential elements of the program. You can find more details on what you should be doing now at this link on our website: http://immigration.net/us_immigration/obama_dream_program/index.php

We will provide more details as soon as they become available. Expect our next update around August 1!

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