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 http://www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals 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.