WASHINGTON D.C. – Undocumented immigrants, including thousands of Filipino youth, who entered the United States when they were young will be among the beneficiaries of the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" that will be implemented starting Aug. 15, 2012.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) said Aug. 2 that those eligible to request for deferred action are people with final orders of deportation and those who have never been in removal proceedings by USCIS. They can request to remain in the US and apply for a work permit.
USCIS said it will start issuing forms developed for this specific purpose on Aug. 15. Requestors can then mail their deferred action request together with an application for an employment authorization document and all applicable fees to the USCIS lockbox. In addition, all requestors must provide biometrics and undergo background checks. Fee waivers cannot be requested for the application for employment authorization and biometric collection. However, fee exemptions will be available in limited circumstances.
The four USCIS Service Centers will review requests.
A recent report by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center said that the Filipino-American community has the highest number of undocumented youth in the country.
"Filipinos have the highest number of undocumented youth in the United States," said Joyce Noche, supervising attorney of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance's (APALC) Immigration and Citizenship Project.
Meanwhile, the USCIS has urged requestors to avoid immigration services scams.
It said "many people offer help with immigration services. Unfortunately, not all are authorized to do so. While many of these unauthorized practitioners mean well, all too many of them are out to rip you off. This is against the law and may be considered an immigration services scam."
If you need help filing an application or petition with USCIS, be sure to seek assistance from the right place, and from people that are authorized to help. Going to the wrong place can delay your application or petition, cost you unnecessary fees and possibly lead to removal proceedings USCIS wants to combat immigration services scams by equipping applicants, legal service providers and community-based organizations with the knowledge and tools they need to detect and protect themselves from dishonest practices.
To accomplish this goal, USCIS launched the Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law (UPIL) Initiative.
(For more details, see immigration column of Atty. Januario Azarcon on p. 30)