Q & A - The Current Policy on Deportations
Q: Dear Immigration Counselors, I have been in the United States since I was 6 years old. I came with my parents from Honduras. I am now 26 years old, have one child born here.
I am really confused about my rights. Last year, I heard that the Obama Administration has stopped deportations. Recently, I have heard that those who came as children can apply for work permits. Can you advise me of my options?
A: Dear T.L., Indeed with the new policies coming down from the DHS, there is a lot of misinformation circulating in the immigrant community.
Last year, DHS instituted a policy of "prioritizing enforcement." With 300,000 removal cases clogging up the immigration courts across the country, DHS decided to administratively close in its discretion, those cases involving less serious immigration violations. "Administrative closure" means taking the removal case off of the immigration court's calendar; though the DHS can request the court to place the case back on calendar any time to resume the removal of the person. However, there is no policy of stopping deportations altogether.
Then on June 15, 2012, DHS announced that a foreign national who 1) has come to the U.S. while under the age of sixteen; 2) has resided continuously in the United States for at least five years immediately preceding June 15; 3) has currently in school or have graduated from high school, or has a general education development certificate, or is honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; 4) has not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; 5) and is not above the age of thirty; may receive a "deferral of removal." This deferral of removal, which mirrors a popular version of a proposed DREAM Act legislation, does not provide a permanent status to the applicant. It does, however, allow them to apply for work authorization. For more information on this policy, view our full article, Keeping the DREAM Alive: A Glimmer of Hope for the Undocumented Youth!
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