Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Is “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” the “DREAM Act” that I’ve heard about?
No. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is different from the original DREAM Act. Although the two are similar, Deferred Action will not lead to a Green Card or U.S. citizenship as intended in the DREAM Act. However, Deferred Action will allow young people to obtain work authorization, a driver’s license, and a social security number, among other potential benefits.
2. What are the requirements to get Deferred Action?
There are specific guidelines for who may apply for Deferred Action. An individual will only be considered qualified for Deferred Action if they:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
- Came to the U.S. before turning 16
- Came to the U.S. before June 15, 2007
- Have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least 5 years
- Have no significant criminal record
- Have completed or made significant process towards an educational degree, or has been honorably charged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
Only individuals who meet ALL of these requirements will be granted Deferred Action.
3. If Deferred Action has been passed, is it still necessary to pass the full DREAM Act?
Yes. Deferred Action does not provide lawful status or a pathway to citizenship. Because of the limited scope of Deferred Action, it is still necessary to pass the full DREAM Act for complete immigration reform. Our immigration attorneys will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.
4. What is Comprehensive Immigration Reform (C.I.R.)? Will it be a law anytime soon?
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (C.I.R.) would significantly reform the immigration system. If passed, C.I.R. would affect everything from border control and security, detention reform, employment verification, visa availability, and criminal alien removal. One of the key reforms of the C.I.R. is the legalization of undocumented immigrants. The C.I.R. would create a separate immigration status for illegal immigrants, and this status would eventually lead to a Green Card. However, the legalization of illegal aliens is a very controversial issue, and the act has not passed yet.
5. I am still confused about whether I qualify for Deferred Action, or if there are other immigration reforms that can benefit me. Should I speak with an immigration attorney?
Yes. You should speak with an experienced immigration attorney if you are unsure about what new reforms may benefit you. It is always helpful to speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can best advise you about your immigration rights, possible immigration options, and about what new immigration reform may help you..