As is always the case with a change in immigration enforcement, there is a great risk of notario fraud by unlicensed immigration advisors who scam immigrants seeking legal advice.
As a resource for immigrants with questions about the recent change in immigration policy, Catholic Charities’ Immigration Legal Services Staff has developed this list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help address some common question about the new policy, who it affects, and how to get help.
Is this the DREAM Act?
No. The DREAM Act failed in Congress, and this executive order is not the DREAM Act. Instead of a path to citizenship, the Obama administration issued an executive order stating that young illegal immigrants who match certain criteria could receive “deferred action.” This means that qualified young people will not be deported for two years, if they apply for deferred action and receive it.
The order says that eligible immigrants can get “prosecutorial discretion.” What is that?
Prosecutorial discretion is the power not to prosecute people for crimes they have committed. It is used frequently at all levels of government – from local district attorneys to the President. In the case of the Deferred Action order, the “crimes” for which people will not be prosecuted are: illegal entry into the United States, possession of false identity, and employment under false identity.
Can I get my citizenship/green card if I qualify for Deferred Action?
No. The Policy expressly states that Deferred Action is not citizenship or permanent residence, and does not offer a pathway to citizenship or permanent residence.
Can I work legally if I receive Deferred Action?
Applications for employment authorization will be accepted by DHS for all those who qualify for Deferred Action, and will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.