The Obama administration will formally begin granting some young undocumented immigrants legal status and work permits later this month under a controversial new policy first announced by President Obama in June.
The Department of Homeland Security today announced details of the application and approval process for the DREAM Act-like program, outlining specific eligibility requirements and a $465 fee. It will begin Aug. 15.
Illegal immigrants younger than 30 who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years continuously, attend or have graduated from high school or college, and have no criminal convictions are eligible to submit requests for so-called deferred action (legalese for an official exemption from deportation).
The administration said documentation provided by each applicant will be reviewed individually on a case-by-case basis at one of four service centers run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. It’s unclear how long each review will take, but some immigrants are expected to receive temporary legal status before Election Day.
While the “dreamers” will not obtain a path to citizenship or the right to vote, Obama’s policy shift – circumventing Congress with executive action – has been widely seen as a politically motivated nod to Hispanics who have long sought the change.
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