A new directive from Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano sets criteria for deferring deportation actions for two years, and also gaining authorization for work. Those criteria are: Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case by case basis:

  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for at 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 GED (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.

Only those individuals who can prove through verifiable documentation that they meet these criteria will be eligible for deferred action. Decisions are to be made on a “case by case basis.” With this new change, please make sure you get good legal counsel, in order to get the maximum benefit under the law. Here are more details in English and in Spanish.