The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program that Obama announced in June was open for applications on Wednesday.
According to the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), if you are an illegal immigrant, pay $465 and can prove that you:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
- Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
- Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
you will be granted a two-year deportation deferral and a work permit. By obtaining a work permit, illegal immigrants will be able to receive documents and benefits that were previously off limits. They will be able to obtain social security numbers, and apply for driver’s licenses, professional certificates, and financial aid as well as numerous other state and federal benefits.
Opening these programs up in a time of high unemployment and increasing debt will only exacerbate an already weak economy and the burden to pay the bill will fall on American citizens; a sentiment with which the Governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, agrees.
Brewer on Wednesday signed an executive order reiterating that state agencies are required to deny licenses and other taxpayer-funded public benefits to “unlawfully present aliens.” That includes those undocumented immigrants who are approved to stay and work in the U.S. for another two years under the federal government’s new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “The issuance of Deferred Action or Deferred Action USCIS employment authorization documents to unlawfully present aliens does not confer upon them any lawful or authorized status and does not entitle them to any additional public benefit,” Brewer’s order said.
It is likely that a legal challenge from groups who oppose the ban will be raised. With any luck the ban will stand in the face of an executive order that was a backhanded attempt to enforce the failed DREAM Act.