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Executive Order means some students can remain in U.S.

Young people who were born in other countries but have lived in the United States since they were very small, along with supporters of the DREAM Act, likely rejoiced with the recent issuance of an Executive Order by the Obama administration regarding immigration. The Executive Order essentially suspends deportation proceedings against certain individuals who were brought to the U.S. by others when they were too young to make a decision regarding the matter themselves.

The issuance of the Executive Order comes after years of trying to get similar legislation, the DREAM Act, through congress.

It is likely not a surprise that under the order, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order for a young person to remain in the U.S. First, the individual must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16. Second, those eligible must have been in the country for a minimum of five years at the time the order was issued. Next, they must meet certain requirements regarding education or military service. Additionally, they must not have a criminal record. Last, they cannot be over 30-years-old.

Individuals who meet the preceding criteria may be able to secure permission to stay in the U.S. for a period of two years. At the end of those two years, they may then be able to obtain a renewal, and in some cases, eventually work authorization.

There are likely many young people who qualify to stay in the country under the criteria issued in the Executive Order. Inevitably however, there will those who do not. Whatever one's standing under the order, it is likely that an immigration attorney can assist in determining the best route to stay in the U.S. legally.

Source: Chicago Sun-Times, "Obama administration immigration move: Ending student deportations," June 15, 2012

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