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August 14, 2012


IMMIGRATION AND POLICY: DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS PROCESS: By Norka M. Schell, Esq. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Questions and Answers In the light of the estimate 12 plus million undocu...


By Norka M. Schell, Esq.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Questions and Answers

In the light of the estimate 12 plus million undocumented immigrants in the United States, mounting visa application backlogs, minimal workplace enforcement, it is clear that our current immigration laws do not meet the needs of our economy or hundreds of thousands of undocumented high school students and graduates. Despite of our broken immigration system, Congress still has not passed a comprehensive immigration reform.

On the other hand, the Obama's Administration  in an attempt to fulfill the President's promises to undocumented immigrant communities, announced on June 15, 2012 that it will grant Deferred Action status to young child undocumented high school students and graduates. Beginning tomorrow, August 16, 2012, the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service will accept applications for request consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Where did the Obama's Administration get  the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals idea?

The idea to grant and extend Deferred Action to young people -- Childhood Arrival -- originated from Temporary Protected Status program, also known as "TPS."

Generally, a Temporary Protected Status program establishes a temporary safe haven in the United States for nationals or a foreign status (or if stateless if person habitually resided in the foreign state) if the Attorney General, after consultation with appropriate government agencies, determines with respect to that foreign state that:

1. There is an ongoing armed conflict within the state (or a part of the state) posing a serious threat to the personal safety of the county's nationals if returned there. INA Section 244(b)(1)(A), 8 U.S.C 124a(b)(1)(A); or

2. There has been an earthquake, flood, drought, epidemic or other environmental disaster resulting in a substantial but temporary disruption of living conditions in the area affected; the foreign state is unable temporarily to handle the return of its nationals and the foreign state has affirmatively requested designation, INA Section 244(b)(1)(8),  8 U.S.C. Section 1245a(b)(1)(B); or

3. There exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state preventing its nationals from returning safely, unless Attorney General determines that it is contrary to national interest to allow those aliens to remain temporarily. INA Section 244(b)(1)(C),  8 U.S.C Section 125a(b)(1)(C).

A Temporary Protected Status Program can be withdrawn or terminated if:

1. The Attorney General finds person was not eligible
2. The person fails maintain continuous physical presence
3. The person fails without good cause, to re-register with Department of Homeland Security
4. The Attorney General terminate the program.

"Bravo" to the Obama's Administration for its cleverness and courage to find a way for temporary relief to the undocumented high school students and graduates. I hope that the U.S. Congress re-examine immigration reform and find the way to grant to the "undocumented" high school students and graduates permanent safe haven in the United States.