Here is my summary from today’s USCIS teleconference on DACA (DREAM Act Deferred Action):
1. In a change from the prior announcement, people currently in removal proceedings will use the USCIS process when it is implemented on August 15, 2012, rather than go through ICE. Only individuals in detention will go through ICE to make a deferred action request.
2. Information provided as part of the deferred action request process is protected from disclosure to ICE or CBP for purposes of removal proceedings unless the requestor meets the criteria of USCIS' November 2011 NTA memo (for example on criminal grounds). Information provided on the form will be kept confidential, including information relating to applicants’ family members or legal guardians. The information will be shared with other government agencies for any necessary law enforcement purposes.
3. If a departure from the U.S. was due to removal, voluntary departure, etc., the absence was not brief, casual and innocent and would interrupt the continuous residence that is required since June 15, 2007. Short absences before August 15, 2012, reasonably calculated to accomplish the purpose of the trip, would not be interruptive.
4. Only people who are currently not in status and were not in any lawful status on June 15, 2012 are eligible.
5. A "significant misdemeanor" is one for any crime for which the individual was sentenced to more than 90 days in custody, or a conviction for domestic violence, sexual abuse, burglary, firearm violation, drug distribution or trafficking (but not possession), or DUI, regardless of the sentence. Significant Misdemeanor Offense is one for which the maximum term of imprisonment under Federal Law is more than 5 days and less than one year (regardless of sentence). This is very restrictive.
6. Minor traffic offenses, such as driving without a license, are not considered misdemeanors that count toward the "3 or more" standard.
7. The Form I-765 will be required, along with another form that will be made available on August 14 or 15. Total fees, including biometrics, will be $465. Fee waivers will be very limited, and must be requested and approved before submitting a deferred action application without a fee.
8. Whether a person has reached age 15, and whether the requestor meets the education requirements, will be determined as of the date the request for deferred action is filed, NOT the June 15, 2012 date.
9. Interviews are not required unless the USCIS is suspicious of the misrepresentation or fraud issues with the case.
10. Anyone who gives false information or misleading info or docs AND falls under 212(a)(2) WILL be put into removal proceedings.
11. Applicants will use a form developed for this specific purpose (version of I-821 TPS form).
12. Mail DACA request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox. Will be processed at all 4 USCIS service centers.
13. Advance Parole Travel Authorization will be available after the approval of the Deferred Action and when humanitarian grounds requiring the travel.
14. Affidavits proving presence will be severely limited except as to proving gaps in other evidence, such as to cover casual and innocent departures from the U.S. during the five year application period.
15. USCIS can change their minds or rescind these rules at any time.
If you have any questions regarding your qualification, please call our office at 404-935-0056.