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Concerns Remain for Deferred Action Applicants

Concerns Remain as Deferred Action Date Approaches

As the August 15th opening for filing Deferred Action under President Obama's modified DREAM policy, many issues remain unresolved.

Trips constituting "brief and innocent" travel outside the United States are not yet clearly defined. While we know that trips resulting from removal or exclusion will disqualify the applicant, it is not yet clear whether there will be a defined number of days or months that will serve as a limitation under the term "brief."

The second looming issue is whether a candidate who is actively enrolled in a GED program is going to be considered as "enrolled in school" for the purpose of Deferred Action. The rules already permit an applicant who holds a GED to apply, but the USCIS has been silent on whether enrollment in a qualified GED program will meet the test.

The third issue is the intention of the USCIS to decide each case on the initial evidence. This feature will eliminate any possible learning cure for individuals filing on their own behalf. Given that the current denial/rejection rate for all USCIS filings for persons not represented by attorneys is 70%, it is clear that applicants will need to turn for licensed legal assistance before attempting to file.

It is my hope that the USCIS will take a generous view of these provisions and take reasonable interpretations to allow broad-range benefits for our deserving children and young adults.