Thursday, October 11, 2012

Many Are Reluctant to Apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

An immigration attorney in Utah reports that the response to the deferred action for childhood arrivals (DREAMers) program has been "tepid."  His belief is that the program is too temporary.  Many who would qualify for the program are afraid, despite assurances from the Government, that the information collected will be used in the future to deport them.

These fears are real concerns.  The program is not based on any law.  It is an exercise of executive discretion.  As such, it can be rescinded.  Still, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has announced that he would not attempt to deport those who are granted deferred action under President Obama's program.  But, he would not renew the program either.

One reality facing the U.S. Government is that its immigration enforcement resources are strained.  This is one reason why the President instructed Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to concentrate on criminal issues in deciding how to allocate its resources.  Based on that, it is not likely that the Government has the resources to deport everyone who applies for deferred action.

Whether to apply is a personal decision that should be based on the risks and the potential benefits.  If an undocumented alien is on the fence, then he or she should consult with an attorney to discuss the risks and likely benefits.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832

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