June 15, 2012 - President Obama formally announced a program that brings immigration relief to thousands of undocumented individuals who entered the United States as children or with their parents, referred to as "DREAMers." This policy was implemented through an executive order prescribing prosecutorial discretion for eligible aliens. Under the deferred action policy, USCIS will exercise prosecutorial discretion to permit those undocumented aliens to remain the US and receive EAD cards that will last a period of 2 years. Such work permits will be renewable for two years upon expiration. The relief also applies to those undocumented individuals already in deportation or removal proceedings in front of an immigration court or judge.
To be eligible, such aliens must:
1. Have arrived in the U.S. when they were under the age of sixteen;
2. Have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least five years prior to June 15, 2012 and have been present in the U.S. on June 15, 2012;
3. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have a GED, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces;
4. Not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, three or more non-significant misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and
5. Have been under thirty-one years old on June 15, 2012.
USCIS has since published answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the deferred action policy. [Faqs_on_Deferred_Action_For_Dream_Act.pdf ].