SALT LAKE CITY — Young adults who have been waiting for the opportunity to work legally will now be able to apply for a temporary postponement from deportation starting Aug. 15, when unauthorized immigrants who meet certain criteria will be eligible to apply for "deferred action."
President Barack Obama made the announcement June 15 and issued an executive order for the implementation of deferred action, which allows children brought into the United States by undocumented parents to apply if they meet certain criteria.
On the same day as Obama's announcement, the Department of Homeland Security announced that those who came to the United States as children may request work permits for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization, according to new guidelines released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
More than 1.7 million undocumented youths will be eligible to apply for the temporary work permits. Eighty-five percent of the 1.7 million are Hispanic, according to research conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center.
The Migration Policy Institute estimates that 350,000 undocumented youths without a high school degree or GED could potentially be eligible for relief from deportation if they meet the enrollment criteria.
According to the same study, Utah could potentially have 10,000 to 20,000 people eligible for deferred action.
There are more than 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants 30 and younger who would not qualify for deferred action. But a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman said those numbers only show those who applied and it will take a few months before officials numbers are released.
Those eligible to apply must do so through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The lone USCIS application support center office for Utah is located at 660 S. 200 East, Suite 400 in Salt Lake City. An appointment is required to see an immigration officer.
Total fees for the application are $465 — $85 for a background check and $380 to apply for Employment Authorization Document.
People can apply for deferred action if they:
• Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012
• Entered the United States before their 16th birthday
• Resided in the U.S. continuously since June 15, 2007
• Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or their lawful immigration status expired on June 15, 2012
• Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a GED certificate or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard, or Armed Forces of the United States
• Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
For the full guidelines, go to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' website at www.uscis.gov.