On Monday, just two days before Pres Barack Obama’s “deferred action” program comes into effect, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that three legal services groups who are helping undocumented immigrants through the new federal program that halts immediate deportation of young immigrants would be receiving funds from the state. The three legal services groups Legal Services NYC, the New York Immigration Coalition and Make the Road NY will receive sums of $ 150,000 each. Mr. Silver also announced that the funds have already been earmarked in the current state budget.
The new “deferred action” program will allow certain young undocumented immigrants, who fulfill conditions laid down under the program, to apply for temporary legal status. According to Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, almost 110,000 undocumented young immigrants in New York could be eligible for the program. According to the Institute, close to 1.8 million immigrants across the country may benefit from the “deferred action” program.
The conditions and terms of the new federal program include that to be eligible, an immigrant must have believed in the United States for five years, must have arrived in the country before reaching the age of 16 years, and must be below the age of 30 years as of June 15, 2012. Further conditions of eligibility under the program include having obtained the equivalent of a high school diploma or being currently enrolled in school. Also, those who are convicted of a felony, or a “significant” misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanor crimes will not be eligible for the benefits of the program.
Previously undocumented illegal immigrants who seek the benefits of the new federal program will have to secure work visas, of the other necessary documents, and pay tax.
Mr. Silver said in a statement “this is a profoundly humane policy for hundreds of thousands of young people who know no other home than the United States and who live in perpetual fear of deportation … With the implementation of this policy, it is critical that we get information out to our immigrant communities, so that people will know who is eligible for deferred action.”