ASIA, Inc. Statement on DHS Memo to Defer Action for Undocumented Immigrants

For immediate release
June 20, 2012

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Press contact: Deborah Wang (330) 645-5805;

CLEVELAND – Asian Services In Action, Inc. (ASIA) applauds the action taken by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on June 15, 2012 that will grant deferred action to undocumented individuals (dreamers) who were brought to the United States as children and know this country as their home.  Deferred action is an act of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action of an eligible individual, and can be granted for a period of two (2) years on a case-by-case basis, subject to renewal.  However, deferred action does not confer a legal status – it does not confer a pathway to permanent legal status or citizenship. 

Pursuant to the DHS Secretary’s June 15, 2012 memorandum, in order to be eligible to receive deferred action, individuals must:

Have come to the United States under the age of sixteen (16);

  1. Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five (5) years before June 15, 2012 and are present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
  2. Currently be in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  3. 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;
  4. Not be above the age of thirty (30); and
  5. Pass a background check and request for relief – Please note that USCIS is NOT currently accepting any request or application.


While the DHS guidance takes effect immediately, the Administration—including USCIS and ICE—has not yet issued clear guidance and information as to how it will begin implementation of the application process.  USCIS and ICE will begin implementing this process within 60 days of the date of the DHS memorandum (June 15, 2012).  Without clear guidance issued by the government as to the application process, many vulnerable undocumented individuals can be easily targeted by notarios or other immigration scammers who are not authorized to practice immigration law, and subsequently become victims of notario fraud.  For more information on “Avoiding Scams,” please see the USCIS webpage at


Therefore, it is strongly recommended that any individuals who are interested in receiving deferred action and available benefits under this new directive first seek legal advice/assistance from a licensed immigration attorney, or a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)-accredited representative.


ASIA provides comprehensive immigration legal services to low- and moderate-income individuals in Northeast Ohio.  For more information, please contact S. Eunice Park, Esq., the immigration attorney at ASIA at or 216-81-0330, ext. 214.