By Gertrude Onuoha Esq.
• On Nov. 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to enable undocumented immigrants remain in the United States. According to USCIS, Some important highlights are:
• Extending the deferred action period and employment authorization to three years from two years, and allows young people be considered for deferred action if they:
• Entered the United States before the age of 16;
• Have lived in the United States continuously since at least Jan.1, 2010, rather than the prior requirement of June 15, 2007;
• Are of any age (removes the requirement to have been born since June 15, 1981); and satisfy all the other requirements.
Obama’s executive order allows parents to request deferred action and employment authorization if they:
• Have lived in the United States continuously since Jan. 1, 2010;
• Had, on Nov. 20, 2014, a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
• Are not an enforcement priority for removal from the United States, under the Nov. 20, 2014.
It is very important to note that all the conditions must exist in order for the application to be successful. If an undocumented immigrant has resided in the United States for over five years and has no son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, he/ she cannot get benefit under this category. If an undocumented immigrant has a son or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent, but has not resided in the United States continuously since Jan. 1 2010, he/she cannot benefit from this.
It is also pertinent to note that the executive order merely gives a differed action status and work authorizations. It does not confer or lead to Green card. The concept of deferred status has been very confusing to so many. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, the word “Deferred” means withheld for or until a stated time. It also means to postpone, put off, delay, or hold over. A deferred action status therefore enables the government to make a determination not to pursue removal or deportation of an undocumented or unlawfully present individual for a certain period of time.
Before the President Obama’s announcement, illegal aliens who satisfy the requirement stated above would be required to leave the country. An individual who has been granted deferred action is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action. Applicants will be required to go through a background check. An applicant with criminal history should speak to an attorney prior to submitting the application to avoid deportation.
The content of this write up is intended for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. Those seeking specific legal advice should contact Gertrude Onuoha Esq. at 575 Lexington Ave., 4th Floor New York, New York 10022 (PHONE) 212-971-9704 (cell 7326421604) (FAX) 866-823-6996.
Gertrude Onuoha Esq. is the founder of the law offices of Gertrude Onuoha, P.C. located in Manhattan, New York. She has practiced law for more than 17 years. She is admitted to practice law in the state of New York and has a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law in New York. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyer, the New York Bar Association and a New York State Certified Mediator.