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Dream still deferred for immigrant

Felicia Persaud | 8/1/2012, 3:48 p.m.
The dream continues to be deferred--at least for now--for the many young immigrants anxious to...
Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now!

The dream continues to be deferred--at least for now--for the many young immigrants anxious to become beneficiaries of the Obama administration's version of the DREAM Act.

While the June 15 announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which made it clear that certain young people brought to the United States as children are eligible to request deferred action, has been heralded in many quarters, young people in desperate need of work permits have been told to keep on waiting.

Applications are still not being accepted by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) more than a month after the announcement.

The USCIS has advised that it is currently developing a process for these young people to request deferred action and will implement the process soon--that is, in 60 days!

As such, individuals who may qualify for this immigration relief under the policy change are being advised to stay tuned for the date when they can begin filing their applications for work authorizations.

And so the wait continues in this technological era. But what can one expect from an agency that continues to be backlogged with application processing and keeps many immigrants in limbo? Add these DREAMers to the list and let the wait begin.

On the positive side, it's better these young people at least have the option to apply in 60 days than no option at all. In the meantime, please advise anyone who may qualify to ensure they stay tuned for the processing date announcement and also to report anyone who claims they can request deferred action on their behalf or apply for employment authorization through this new process before the USCIS announces an implementation date.

To be considered for deferred action under this process, an immigrant must have come to the United States under the age of 16; have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding June 15, 2012, and have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012; currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; not have been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety; and not be above the age of 30. Any immigrant who meets the qualifications, regardless of country of origin, can submit an application.

Stay abreast of this issue by logging on to uscis.gov for the latest updates or by calling (800) 375-5283.

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.