The good people at the National Immigration Project, the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, and United we Dream have issued the following*important warning*to people interested in applying for deferred action under the new prosecutorial discretion guidelines announced by President Obama.

DO NOT apply without getting your criminal history (including juvenile delinquency adjudications) reviewed FIRST. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will conduct background checks, collect information from local law enforcement, and examine your criminal history, including arrest records and criminal warrants. You risk having DHS and/or ICE detain and deport you, if you apply for deferred action without having your criminal history reviewed.

They also point out that there are many disqualifying variables in the policy memorandum that are open to interpretation, and that have not been properly defined by the administration.

These include:

  • The definition of "significant misdemeanor";

  • What constitutes a public safety threat; and

  • What constitutes a national security threat.

They offer the following recommendations:

1. Get a copy of your record from whatever court your case was heard, including all juvenile delinquency adjudications. Try to get copies of police reports, a criminal history background check, or your "rap sheet." Many states already have systems for you to collect your criminal history. In many cases, you can find it on your local county website or state government websites. Make sure you get them from all states where you believe you may have been arrested or convicted.

2. Meet with a nonprofit organization, an immigration attorney or advocate experienced in deportation defense or the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Make sure they review all your arrest information and criminal conviction documents. Do NOT consult "Notarios" if you have a criminal history.

Sage advice.

Click here to read the warning.