Monday, June 24, 2013

Deferred Action Recipients May Get Preferential Treatment in Immigration Reform

For those who waited to file an application for the President's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, this may be the time to do it.  Under the current version of the Senate bill, those who received deferred action under the DACA program may automatically qualify for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status.  The bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion to grant RPI status to DACA recipients who have not otherwise engaged in conduct that would render the DACA recipient ineligible for RPI status.  In fact, those who received DACA benefits may be immediately eligible for citizenship upon becoming a permanent resident.

DACA is the program announced by the President last year where certain young people who entered the United States before the age of 16 could be granted a reprieve from deportation and work authorization.  The requirements for DACA eligibility can be found here.

Current estimates are predicting passage of the bill in the Senate with as many as 70 votes.  How the bill will fare in the House, which is controlled by Republicans, remains to be seen.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
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