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After the big announcement by the Homeland Security about granting deferred action for undocumented immigrants between the age of 15 and 30, there have been many questions and concerns by immigrant communities. On USCIS, some questions have been answered with some details and I would like to list some of those questions and explain what it means.
1. When does filing start?
Filing will begin as soon as USCIS create a process for the deferred action. They have 60 days starting from June 15, 2012 to come up with a procedure. Every case will be rejected if you file before the procedure is in place.
2. I have a criminal record. Can I still receive the deferred action?
Your background check will be performed and any criminal records will be revealed from this. The requirements of deferred deportation action states that you must not have been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanors or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. So this means, your approval will depend on what type of criminal history you possess. The only unclear part is if you have a misdemeanor and how you would know whether your misdemeanor is a “significant” one or not. A significant misdemeanor involves violence, threats, assault, sexual abuse, burglary, larceny, fraud, DUI, obstruction of justice or bribery, unlawful flight from arrest, drug distribution or a possession of drugs. If you have a misdemeanor involving any of the above, your case will be denied. You will not be given an opportunity for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion.
3. I was not in the United States on June 15, 2012. Can I still receive the deferred action?
No. The requirements of deferred action clearly states that you must be in the United States on the day of the memo by DHS – June 15, 2012.