The Main Stream

Aug 7, 2012 1:03 AM

Deferred action program supported by "dreamers'

TUCSON - A major breakthrough for undocumented students is about to take effect.

The government's new deferred action program will allow certain people who came to the United States as children to remain in the U.S.

It's set to launch August 15th.

Some are considering this partial implementation of the Dream Act.

There are five pieces of criteria young people must meet.

They must currently be enrolled in school or graduated, have lived in the U.S. for five or more years, arrived here before the age of 16, have no criminal history, and are under the age of 31.

A group of Tucsonans, who call themselves 'dreamers' support deferred action.

"This is a step in the right direction," Josue Saldiva said.

Daniela Nava says, "I benefit from it and also my younger brother."

If their application is approved they will be eligible for a work permit, drivers license, and granted permission to live in the United States. It's good for two years.

"It doesn't give them any sort of permanent status," says Maurice Goldman, an immigration attorney.

He stresses that this is a temporary program in its infancy.

A thorough background check is required.

If denied, there's no chance of appeal.

"And if there is any change in administration or policy their information is out there," says Goldman, "it could mean permanent exile from the United States."

"We don't know what this process is going to look like yet, so we're skeptical about it, at least as far as for me," said Ana Rodriguez, a dreamer who is willing to roll the dice and apply.

But of the four dreamers News 4 spoke with, one is not eligible for deferred action.

"Many students like me don't qualify for this," Alexandra Samarron says.

Samarron was 16 when she moved to the US, just missing the cut.

Her hope is that deferred action leads to legalization programs.

"We need to push for comprehensive immigration reform," said Samarron.

There are fees associated with the application $465 dollars.

Goldman stresses the importance of utilizing an attorney, someone who can review your immigration history, and potential criminal history. And beware of scams.

For the full list of criteria guidelines head to www.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals

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