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Deferred Action program has DHS scrambling to implement policy

The federal government says that August 15 is the date on which applications will first be accepted in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The DACA program was first announced June 15.

In the roughly two months since the president announced that he was using his executive authority to provide young immigrants who entered the country illegally with their parents with a road to legal status, the Department of Homeland Security has been struggling internally on how to implement the new immigration policy.

Next week, more than 1 million people may be eligible under the new policy to avoid potential deportation through appling for a work permit. The program offers specified young immigrants an opportunity for non-immigrant legal status in the United States. DHS officials expect more than 1 million applications under the new policy.

DHS says that people can apply for a work authorization under the deferred action program beginning August 15. This blog has previously discussed some of the known requirements that will be needed to obtain a deferred action work permit.

However, those who qualify under the program already facing a removal proceeding may be able to obtain a stay in the deportation, if the immigrant can prove the requirements of the DACA program apply, according to Fox News.

DHS officials reportedly agree that it may be possible to seek to halt an imminent deportation through the new policy. But the government says a kind of Catch-22 may be involved. Those on the brink of being deported may be in detention, and it may be difficult for the detainee to submit an application for deferred action.

Federal authorities reportedly say that roughly 1,200 young immigrants who may qualify under the new policy have actually avoided deportation under the use of prosecutorial discretion after a review of the removal case. The reviews followed the release of new guidelines for prosecutorial discretion in deportation cases that were announced last year.

The deferred action application involves a $465 government fee, background checks and biometric screening to confirm eligibility. Applicants must also verify residence and continued presence in the country, among other documents to prove academic or military eligibility requirements have been met.

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