President Obama Announces Protection for DREAM Act Eligible Immigrants

President Obama has announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children, who do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and who meet several key criteria will be considered for conditional status – relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings. DREAM beneficiaries must show that they meet the criteria listed below.  They would be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would be able to apply for work authorization.

Criteria include:

  1. Entered to the United States before the age of sixteen;
  2. Continuous residence in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.

While this guidance takes effect immediately, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement expect to begin implementation of the application processes within the next sixty days.  The Department of Homeland Security will continue to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk, including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and repeat immigration law offenders.

A link to the announcement can be found here.

The White House website has a video of President Obama speaking on this issue.

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