Which Undocumented Youth Qualify for Deportation Relief and Work Permits?


The announcement by Homeland Security that some DREAM Act-eligible young people will receive temporary legal status and work authorization is welcome news. It is also a tribute to the fine work of the national immigrant rights movement and the members of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance in keeping this issue on the table against all odds. While this new program is no substitute for the DREAM Act, it provides official recognition of the plight of these students and graduates.

To qualify for protection, an undocumented immigrant must show he or she:

1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;

2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

5. Are not above the age of thirty.

CARECEN will offer a free informational meeting about the new legal status for Dreamers on Tuesday, June 19, at 6:30pm at our office at 2000 Brentwood Road, second floor, 631-273-8721.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.