AILA helps youth apply for deferred action

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Washington, DC Chapter will celebrate the Administration’s recent announcement that certain childhood arrivals may be eligible for “Deferred Action” and work authorization by conducting several pro bono workshops to help individuals apply.

In partnership with a dozen community-based organizations including nonprofits and churches in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area, the AILA-DC Chapter will hold several clinics to make attorneys available to assist.

“The AILA-DC Chapter has over nine hundred attorney members.  Together with our partners and their volunteers, we can help childhood arrivals who have entered the young age of under 16 to apply for deferred action and work authorization so that they can live and prosper without fear and intimidation.  These individuals, having lived in this country since such a young age, have never had a chance to consider any other country their home; they have special ties to the U.S. and have the same dreams to go to school and pursue the American dream. They make us who we are and help contribute to our nation. It is an honor to serve them and be a part of their journey,” said AILA-DC Chapter Chair, Peter F. Asaad, Esq.  “The Administration’s policy will grant qualified childhood arrivals the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally. This exciting new development brings hope to immigrants and their families. It is not, however, a permanent fix and does not grant permanent legal status to anyone.  Congress must step-up to make that happen.”

AILA-DC’s successes are due in large part to the collaborative relationships that the association has developed both with community organizations and stakeholders, as well as with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). “The work we do together is much greater than the work we do apart,” said Mr. Asaad. “We reach more people with the help of our community partners than we’d be able to independent of them. Together we are enthusiastic to help these childhood arrivals live their American dream.”

Under the Administration’s new policy, an individual may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if the individual can show he or she:

1. Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

2. Came to theUnited Statesbefore reaching his or her 16th birthday;

3. Have continuously resided in theUnited Statessince June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

4. Were physically present in theUnited Stateson June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or his or her lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

“Be careful! Do not endanger your chance to qualify for this action,” said Mr. Asaad. “Make sure to contact a genuine immigration lawyer who can help ensure your application has the best chance of being filed properly and for you to benefit from this program.”


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