Age And Educational Requirements For DREAMER Deferred Action.

Alan Lee, Esq.

In the June 18, 2012, deferred action stakeholders meeting with U.S.C.I.S. Director Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S.I.C.E. Director John Morton and Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David Aguilar, Director Mayorkas took the lead in giving DHS's current view on age and education necessary for young people to qualify under the program.

On the subject of education, the three qualifications are that a person be currently in school or have graduated from high school or possess a GED certificate. The requirements were viewed by Mr. Mayorkas in the disjunctive. He stated that the minimum age to apply for deferred action is 15 years and the oldest under the age of 31. The child who is 14 and meets all the other requirements for deferred action on June 15, 2012, will be able to apply when he/she reaches the age of 15. An applicant's age being under 31 is determined as of June 15, 2012. On the question of whether an individual who was studying for a GED certificate on June 15, 2012, but had not yet received it by that date is eligible, Director Mayorkas replied that the person would have to look at the first qualification, being currently in school, to determine eligibility.

That answer of course raises further questions as GED courses can either be taught through a regular classroom setting at a recognized school or online classes by a recognized school or by institutions/centers which may be less than recognized schools. So would being in the process of attending an online course for a GED certificate on June 15, 2012, qualify in the same light as in a regular classroom setting in a university, 4 year college, or community college which offers a GED course? Would a fee receipt for an institution/center/recognized school on or before June 15, 2012, be sufficient evidence to qualify? What if the individual is studying through a free adult education class?

These questions along with many others will have to be presented and hopefully settled favorably to DREAMERS in further stakeholder engagements, which appear to be a favored tool of Director Mayorkas. A deferred action teleconference was scheduled on July 9, 2012, involving the same three heads of agencies, but unfortunately postponed without word of further rescheduling.

This article © 2012 Alan Lee, Esq.

About The Author

Alan Lee, Esq. is a 30+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City holding an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Director, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, and on the New York Super Lawyers list. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasha and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Bush Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

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