Contact Information

Attorney Rosy M. Meza

Meza Law Office LLC

216 South 4th St
Elkhart, IN 46516

Phone: 574-343-2789

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Phone: 574-304-9601
Fully Bilingual Law Firm

Deferred Action

family law servicesImmigration News: Deferred Action Process for Young People Who Are Low Enforcement Priorities

A Bold, Humanitarian and Positive Step in the Right Direction

On June 15th, The White House announced the equivalent of an explosion for the immigrant community. Through an executive order, the Administration will grant what is called deferred action to young people present in the United States who meet certain eligibility criteria. In general terms, in order to qualify, individuals must:

  1. Have come to the US under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the US for at least 5 years prior to June 15th, 2012;
  3. Be currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained their GED, or are now honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or US Armed Forces;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offense, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty on June 15th, 2012.

The beauty and breadth of this bold and humanitarian procedure lies in that young people who are in immigration proceedings, or even have a final order of removal or deportation can apply for deferred action. The grant of a two-year work permit is the most practical aspect of this new process. Additionally, and this is very significant, this new bold and positive step goes further than the traditional prosecutorial discretion initiative: it grants benefits to affirmative applicants, that is, those who are not in removal proceedings. In order to qualify for deferred action, applicants must be 15 years or older, if applying affirmatively and are not subject to a final order of removal. Benefits will be renewable after the initial two-year grant, based upon need and on a case-by-case basis. Applicants will have to undergo a background check.

National estimates say that between 800,000 to one million young people will avail themselves of benefits under the new deferred action process. Those youths arrived in the United States as children, without intent to violate the immigration laws. Further, most are American in everything but legal status. They have gone to school, are culturally integrated into their communities and would suffer greatly if they had to return to their country of origin. It is necessary to note that although a successful grant of deferred action does not confer lawful permanent status, it carries tremendous benefits, not the least of which is the ability to work in the country, and obtain lawful identity documents.

Rosy M. Meza is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and has been practicing immigration law for over 10 years, with offices in Elkhart, Indiana. She is active in the education of the immigrant community and the general public in matters relating to immigration law, as well as being a passionate advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

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Attorney Rosy M. Meza
216 South 4th St., Elkhart, IN 46516

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