Half a DREAM Act

Thứ Tư, 20 Tháng Sáu 201200:00(Xem: 37677)
Half a DREAM Act
On 15 June, President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security announced a Deferred Action Process for young people who are low enforcement priorities. This refers to children who came to the states where they were under 16 years of age and have stayed here illegally. The original Dream Act passed the House nearly two years ago, but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Opponents of the bill have argued that it would encourage more people to enter the country illegally, while supporters say it helps people to become full members of society because they were brought up as Americans and it is not their fault that they are here illegally.
 
This Deferred Action Process has basically the same requirements as the failed DREAM Act, but it is limited to a period of two years, it can be renewed, and applicants will be eligible to apply for work authorization. It will not provide a path to legalization or a Green Card or US citizenship, but it will make eligible applicants free from fear of deportation.
 
To benefit from this Deferred Action Process, applicants would have to meet the following criteria:
 
1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen and are now not more than 30 years old;
2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years before the 15 June announcement of the Deferred Action Process, and are still present in the United States as of 15 June;
3. Are now in school, or have graduated from high school, or have obtained a GED 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, and are not a threat to national security or public safety.
 
DHS Secretary Napolitano said, “Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner, but they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language.”
 
Applicants must be currently in the United States and can prove that they have been physically present in the United States for a period of not less than 5 years preceding 15 June 2012.
 
This new process takes effect immediately. USCIS and ICE expect to begin implementation of the application processes by 15 August. More information is available at the USCIS website www.uscis.gov. Beginning 18 June, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at 1-800-375-5283 during business hours with questions, or to request more information on this new process.
 
At the moment, there may be some confusion about the term “Dream Act”.
The first Dream Act contained a path to permanent residence and citizenship. It was introduced in Congress but never became law. California now has a Dream Act but it only gives financial aid to illegal aliens for study in state colleges and universities. There is no path to a Green Card in the California Dream Act. President Obama’s announcement this month can also be called a Dream Act. It does not provide a path to a Green Card or any other form of legalization. However, it does promise that the young “Dreamers” will not be deported and they will have the right to work.
 
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Q.1. What kind of evidence can applicants use to show that they have been physically present in the US for the past five years?
 
A.1. CIS will make an announcement about this within two months. At the moment we can just suggest that school records are probably the best evidence. Medical records, photos and cyber records would also be helpful. 
 
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Q.2. I came to the US as a high school student when I was 16 years old and have been staying here out of status for the past five years. Can I apply for this new form of Dream Act?
 
A.2. We can expect that the law will be strictly enforced. That means if you arrived in the States when you were 16, even if it was on the day of your 16th birthday, you would not be eligible for the new Dream Act. You can only apply if you were under 16 when you arrived in the States.
 
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