DHS Announces Deferred Action for Certain Individuals Who Came to the U.S as Children

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), by memorandum dated June 15, 2012, announced that it will soon implement deferred action, a form of prosecutorial discretion, for certain individuals who were brought to this country as children, but lack legal status to remain here. In order to be considered for this form of prosecutorial discretion, individuals must meet the following criteria:
• They must have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
• They must have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum (June 15, 2012) and remain present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
• They are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or have been honorably discharged as a veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
• They have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety; and
• They must be under the age of thirty.

Individuals who meet the above-criteria should not take any further action until DHS issues further guidance on the application process. Further announcements and guidelines from DHS are expected to be announced in mid-August, 2012.