Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program Beginning August 15 May Add 1.7 Million New Workers in US

Beginning today, August 15, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – a government agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that oversees lawful immigration to the United States – will begin accepting requests for the ‘Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ amnesty program that could lead to an estimated 1.7 million new workers in the United States. Unauthorized immigrants 30-years-old and under who entered the U.S. before the age of 16 without documentation may now apply to remain in and to work in the country. More information is available on the USCIS website at or by calling USCIS at 1-800-375-5283.

Under the program, unauthorized immigrants who meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals where they will not be removed from the United States for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization:

  • They were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  • They came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  • They have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  • They were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  • They entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  • They are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  • They have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

According to the USCIS: “Only individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these guidelines will be considered for deferred action. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines set forth in the Secretary of Homeland Security’s memorandum.” A $465 application fee applies to each request for the program and includes fees for the deferred action permit and a temporary work authorization permit.

New estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, show as many as 1.7 million of the 4.4 million unauthorized immigrants ages 30 and under could potentially qualify for the deferred action program that may also qualify them for work authorization. Approximately 85 percent of the 1.7 million unauthorized immigrants eligible for the program are Hispanic and more than half – 950,000 – may be immediately eligible. For more information, read ‘Up to 1.7 Million Unauthorized Immigrant Youth May Benefit from New Deportation Rules’.

According to the news release ‘USCIS Begins Accepting Requests For Consideration Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals’ released today, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on June 15,  2012 that certain unauthorized immigrants who came to the U.S. as children may request deferred action, “a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.” A Spanish language version of the news release is available here: ‘USCIS Comienza a Aceptar Formularios de Consideración de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia’.

For more information about background checks for a Safe Hiring Program, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and a nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at, call 415.898.0044, or email ESR is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers maintain a legal workforce. For more information, visit


Other Resources: provides news, informative blogs, and resources about immigration. To read more about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), visit

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