Federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy Begins Today

Assemblymember Cahill highlights funding for immigrant legal services; Co-sponsors bill to provide tuition aid to immigrants who came to the United States as children
August 15, 2012

Kingston, NY – Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (Ulster / Dutchess) marked the opening of President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program for immigrants who came to the United States as children by announcing the Assembly has made funding available for immigrant legal services. The Assemblymember is also co-sponsoring soon to be introduced legislation that will make students participating in the federal initiative eligible for college aid through New York’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

“Throughout history, America has served as a beacon of hope for people across the globe. Our foundation for prosperity was built by hard working men and women who overcame tremendous hardships to make a better life for their families,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “The combination of the President’s action and the Assembly’s initiatives to provide legal assistance and access to higher education will afford the thousands of otherwise law-abiding youth that came to America as children the chance to openly contribute to our society without fear of deportation.”

On August 15th, the Department of Homeland Security began accepting applications from young immigrant men and women who are qualified for deferred action. The new policy allows individuals between the ages of 15 and 31 who were brought to America before the age of 16 to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years. If approved, they would be eligible to obtain work permits, driver’s licenses and Social Security numbers.

“This is about fairness and equal opportunity for the young men and women who came to this country at a young age, worked their way though school and want to lead productive lives in our communities,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “Changing our laws to allow for easier access to higher education and providing legal assistance to help guide these youth through what can be a complicated confusing process are common sense measures consistent with the Assembly Majority’s longstanding commitment to serving New York’s immigrant population.”

See below for details on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and local immigrant legal assistance programs.

To apply for Deferred Action Status please visit The US Citizenship and Immigration Services webpage to download all of the required forums. If you have questions, please contact the Worker's Justice Center in Kingston at 845-331-6615 or Somos La Llave del Futuro in Millerton at 845-675-8045.

The organizations will be holding informational sessions on the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals application tonight and again on Friday:

The Worker Justice Center of New York
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
5:30pm to 7:30pm
55 Franklin Street, Kingston
Spanish services available

Somos la Llave del Futuro, NYIC, Family Partnership Center
Friday, August 17, 2012
6pm to 8pm
25 North Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie

A person may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if they:

  1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
  2. Came to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
  3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
  4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making a request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
  5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
  6. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained GED certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
  7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors.