The Fate of Deferred Action Under President Romney

As many of our readers are aware, on June 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children who meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, and would also be eligible for work authorization.

While some of our readers have reported taking advantage of this program, many others have are hesitant to apply for the program because of the uncertainties of what will happen in the future.  One of the chief concerns that we have heard is that if Mitt Romney wins the election, there is no guarantee that the deferred action program will continue in its current form, and he may place former recipients of deferred action in removal proceedings.  Indeed, Mr. Romney has made several comments in the past that have been interpreted as meaning he would end the program if elected.

To the surprise of many, Mr. Romney has recently stated that he would honor deferred action granted by the Obama administration:

The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid.  I’m not going to take something that they’ve purchased. Before those visas have expired, we will have the full immigration reform plan that I’ve proposed.

While these comments stop short of endorsing the deferred action program, it at least gives some hope to applicants who have already applied if Mr. Romney were elected President.  While campaign promises are not always kept, Mr. Romney, at least for now, has affirmatively stated that he would not take away the two year deferred action from people who have already applied under the current administration.  When asked for clarification by the Boston Globe, the Romney campaign responded that no one would be allowed deferred action unless they were accepted under Obama’s presidency.  These comments seem to indicate that if Mr. Romney were elected President, the deferred action program would come to a certain end.

We suspect that with the uncertainty of the election and the recent comments by the Romney campaign, many people may try to immediately apply for deferred action while they still can.  Before doing so however, we recommend a consultation with a qualified attorney to weight the pros and cons of deferred action before applying.

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