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2014 Deferred Action

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security will provide “deferred action” for a period of three year to persons who fall within one of the following two categories:

  1. Group 1
  2. Group 2

The 2014 Deferred Action Placed on Hold by Judge Hanen

President Obama’s expansion of Deferred Action was placed on hold by Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas.

President Obama is trying to overturn Judge Hanen’s order, but has so far been unsuccessful. The case, Texas v. United States, is currently at the Supreme Court, and is expected to be decided by June 2016. Should President Obama succeed, the following will apply:

What is Deferred Action

Deferred action is merely a decision by the government that they will not attempt to deport you for the period it is in effect, and provided you maintain the requirements.

As USCIS states on its website, “deferred action does not excuse … any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence.”

What This Is Not

This is not a new law. It is only an executive action being taken by the President. As such, it can be terminated by the President.

In fact, President Obama has stated that “This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix.”

Deferred Action does not provide a path to the green card or to citizenship.

Deferred Action only means that while it is in force, the government will not seek to deport the people who qualify for it.

Deferred Action does not excuse unlawful presence accrued before it is granted, nor unlawful presence accrued after it expires.

What This Will Provide

Deferred action provides protection from deportation while it is in effect.

People who qualify will be eligible for a Work Permit.

Under some circumstances, people who qualify may be eligible for advance parole to allow trips outside the US. Advance parole will likely be limited to humanitarian, educational, or employment purposes.

The issuance of Driver’s Licenses will be up to each state.

Deferred Action (DACA) applicants will not be eligible for medical benefits under either the Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

How Do I Apply?

For Group 1, applications should be available by late February. For Group 2, application should be available mid-year in 2015. The total application fee is currently $465, and covers the work permit.

Documents that can prove that the requirements are met include:

  • Birth certificates;
  • Passports;
  • Financial records;
  • Medical records;
  • School records;
  • School transcripts;
  • Diplomas;
  • GED certificates;
  • Report cards;
  • Military records (report of separation, etc.)

Affidavits will only be accepted to fill in gaps and to document short trips. A short trip outside the US for lawful purposes taken before August 15, 2012 will not disqualify you. Any other trip will.

What You Should Not Do

You should not hire anyone who tells you you can apply now. You should not hire anyone to file for you unless they are immigration attorneys or are authorized immigration consultants. Many “Notarios” claim they can file for you. However, it is not likely that they are even authorized to fill immigration forms. Using a “Notario” puts your immigration future at risk. Our firm has been contacted by many individuals who got into immigration trouble precisely because they used a “Notario” that made false promises. Do not get scammed.

You should not lie on the application and you should not submit fraudulent documents. Lying on the application and/or submitting fraudulent documents will result in you being placed in removal proceedings.

What You Can Do Now

You can get started now by gathering the documents that will be necessary to prove that you qualify. These documents include as many of the following as possible:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • School Records: diplomas, certificates, GED certificates, report cards, transcripts, and other evidenced of enrollment.
  • Medical Records
  • Financial Records
  • Employment Records
  • Military Records: evidence that you are currently in the military or have been honorably discharged.
  • Insurance Documents

If you have any arrests, you will need to have the arrest reports and any court documents reviewed by an experienced immigration attorney, such as those at our firm, in order to determine whether they disqualify you from applying. This needs to be done before you apply. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a deportation case instead of deferred action.

Only trust reliable sources of information. These include official government websites (USCIS.gov, charitable organizations, reputable legal organizations and immigration attorneys.

Can A Denial of Deferred Action Be Appealed

A decision on an application for deferred action is final. USCIS will not entertain motions to reopen or motions to reconsider, and there is no appeal from the decision.

What About Your Family Members

Deferred action is only available to those who meet the requirements. It is therefore not available to parents of deferred action applicants, unless the parents, too, meet all the requirements.

USCIS will, however, not refer parents or relatives of deferred action applicants to ICE unless there are fraud, national security or criminal offense grounds to do so.