Deferred action applications comes with risks: immigration attorney
Mon, 20 Aug 2012 03:52:04 GMT —
Hundreds of undocumented valley youth began filing the applications to get work permits under President Obama's new policy, but the application process is not without risks.
An estimated 1.7 million undocumented youth in the United States are eligible to apply for deferred action policy.
For $465, they would receive a two year work permit, but not legal status.
"We don't really know much of anything about the process because as everyone knows, this is a brand new process," said Lauren Joyner, with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
Being so new, the process lends itself to many questions and few answers she admitted, and no case is black and white.
"Deferred action is completely discretionary -- which means even if you meet all the requirements, immigration can still deny your application if they so choose," she added.
If denied, there is no way for applicants to appeal, the decision is final.
But perhaps the biggest question Joyner has to answer is the future of the program.
"The deferred action is just a change of policy. It's not a change in law, it's not a guarantee, she said. No one knows how long it'll be around regardless of what happens in November.
That's a very popular question, what happens is November? she continued. The truth is no one knows, but more importantly, regardless of what happens in November, it could be terminated at any time by any administration."
Joyner concluded by saying that even if applicants are denied, that does not mean immigration will refer their cases for deportation.
Since last year, the Obama administration has focused on deporting people they say pose dangers for society like those with criminal histories.