This month marks the one year anniversary of the announcement for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Since President Obama introduced the program on June 15, 2012, almost 300,000 immigrants have taken advantage of the new freedoms it offers, many of those right here in the Los Angeles area. Another 200,000 have sent in applications and are waiting to hear back.
In order to be accepted into the program, applicants must be able to prove that they were 30 years or younger on June 15, 2012 and that they arrived in the United States before they turned 16. They also need to be attending school or have graduated and cannot have a criminal record that is serious in nature. Applicants who are accepted into the program will receive work permits that are valid for two years and can be renewed. Depending on state laws, they may also be able to obtain drivers licenses and even pay in-state college tuition.
This is a dream come true for one 21-year-old immigrant who came to the U.S. on a tourist visa with his parents when he was 12-years-old. After the visas expired, the family remained in the country. The young man was accepted into the program last October and has been able to obtain a driver’s license and shave 30 minutes off his commute to work each day. His work situation has changed for the better too. In addition to cleaning a concrete company office, he also now works behind the computer and has a brighter future ahead of him.
If you would like to apply for deferred action, you may wish to speak with an attorney who can advise you on the best way to proceed.
Source: My Fox LA, “For young immigrants, a delayed coming of age,” Christine Armario, June 17, 2013