New immigration policies, first announced by President Obama in June, allows undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as having entered the U.S. as a child, to be eligible for temporary relief from the threat of deportation.
This temporary legal status, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last for two years and is not a pathway to permanent legal status nor does it make anyone eligible for federal student financial aid.
As of August 15, students may apply for this legal status if they meet the following criteria:
- Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012.
- Came to the United States before 16 years of age.
- Have continuously lived in the United States since June 15, 2007, and was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012.
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED), or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.
- 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 as determined by the DHS.
As an elementary school principal, some parents may ask for school records that will serve as official documentation to demonstrate a child meets several of the criteria for deferred action. There is no required form that needs to be completed to show a student is enrolled in school or was a former student, rather any school record that is created during the normal course of business and shows a student’s full name and enrollment history should be sufficient. The U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services understands that many elementary schools do not maintain transcripts that show specific completed courses, like those commonly found at the high school level.
More details on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals can be found here.
The U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services has several outreach sessions scheduled around the country to answer questions on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a link to the schedule and details about these events can be found here.