When people are brought to the Los Angeles area as young children, living in the United States is often all they know. Forcing them to return to the country where they were born but are not familiar with may seem unfair. This is the basis of a new immigration policy that was enacted last summer. This policy, known as deferred action, allows illegal immigrants to apply for immunity from deportation. Applicants are required to have lived in the country for five or more consecutive years and be graduates of a high school in the United States, earned an equivalent degree or be a member of the military. They must have been brought to the country before the age of 16 and be under the age of 31 when they apply for deferred action.
A law school graduate has taken advantage of this new policy recently. Technically a Mexican citizen, he has not seen his homeland since being brought to the U.S. at the age of 9.
After graduating from college, he applied for a federal work permit and deferred action in hopes of being allowed to practice law in the United States. His requests were granted and he will be able to reside in the United States legally. He has also applied to the bar association in the state where he lives; his application is still being considered at this time by the state’s highest court.
Deferred action can help immigrants like this man live and work in the country where they have essentially grown up. Individuals who have questions about applying for deferred action can seek the advice of an attorney who can answer their questions.
Source: Associated Press, “Illegal immigrant seeking Florida law license gets federal deportation deferral, work permit,” Jan. 17, 2013