The President’s New Deferred Action Program

In late November of 2014, the President created a new deferred action program that, among other features, benefits parents of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents.  A grant of deferred action does not provide a person with permanent status in the United States.  Rather, it provides assurances that he or she will not be deported during the period for which deferred action is granted.  In addition, a person who receives deferred action is allowed to apply for a work permit.

In order to benefit from the new deferred action program, a person must meet several requirements.  First, he or she must have been in the United States since January 1, 2010. He or she must also be the parent of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, as of the date of the President’s announcement.  Finally, a person must not be an “enforcement priority” as laid out in the President’s new program.

A person will generally be an “enforcement priority” under the new deferred action program if he or she has been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors.  A person will also be an enforcement priority if he or she has been convicted of a significant misdemeanor.  For the purposes of the deferred action program, a significant misdemeanor includes an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or driving under the influence; or if not an offense listed above, one for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of 90 days or more.

Although many of the criteria for the President’s deferred action program have been established, the government has not yet published the application with which a person will apply for the program.  This application should be available in the next several months.  If you believe that you or a loved one may be eligible for the President’s new deferred action program, please contact John L. Wheaton, Attorney at Law at 206-829-8214.