The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that, beginning sometime in the next 60 days, certain undocumented individuals who have continuously resided in the United States for at least 5 years will be eligible for “deferred action” from deportation and will be given work permits for 2 years. In addition, the individuals’ status and work permits will be renewable.
“Deferred action” means that the federal government recognizes that the person is deportable but will defer any deportation action.
To be eligible, the individual (1) must have entered the U.S. prior to age 16 and be under age 30, (2) must be in high school, have graduated high school, or received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military, and (3) must have good moral character.
It is important to note that this goes further than the “Dream Act,” which would have required that the individual be in college or have a degree from a U.S. college or university.
Estimates are that up to 800,000 individuals in the United States may qualify for this benefit. Given that California has approximately 25% of the country’s foreign national population, this means that roughly 200,000 Californians could be affected.
The DHS announcement can be found here.