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Text of June 15, 2012 DHS Press Release, with link to implementing memo:
"Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today announced that effective immediately, certain young people who were brought to the United States as young children,
do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet
several key criteria will be considered for relief from removal from
the country or from entering into removal proceedings. Those who
demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive
deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will
be eligible to apply for work authorization.
immigration laws must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” said
Secretary Napolitano. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced
without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each
case. Nor are they designed to remove productive young people to
countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language. Discretion, which is used in so many other areas, is especially justified here.”
continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of
individuals who pose a national security or public safety risk,
including immigrants convicted of crimes, violent criminals, felons, and
repeat immigration law offenders. Today’s action further enhances the
Department’s ability to focus on these priority removals.
this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following
criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically
deferred action, on a case by case basis:
those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that
they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action.
Individuals will not be eligible if they are not currently in the United
States and cannot prove that they have been physically present in the
United States for a period of not less than 5 years immediately
preceding today’s date. Deferred action requests are decided on a
case-by-case basis. DHS cannot provide any assurance that all such requests will be granted. The
use of prosecutorial discretion confers no substantive right,
immigration status, or pathway to citizenship. Only the Congress, acting
through its legislative authority, can confer these rights.
this guidance takes effect immediately, USCIS and ICE expect to begin
implementation of the application processes within sixty days. In the
meantime, individuals seeking more information on the new policy should visit USCIS’s website (at www.uscis.gov), ICE’s website (at www.ice.gov), or DHS’s website (at www.dhs.gov).
Beginning Monday, individuals can also call USCIS’ hotline at
1-800-375-5283 or ICE’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 during business hours
with questions or to request more information on the forthcoming
For individuals who are in removal proceedings and have
already been identified as meeting the eligibility criteria and have
been offered an exercise of discretion as part of ICE’s ongoing
case-by-case review, ICE will immediately begin to offer them deferred
action for a period of two years, subject to renewal.
For more information on the Administration policy reforms to date, please see this fact sheet."