In 2014, President Obama announced a new program of “deferred action.”  Those that qualify for “deferred action” also qualify for a work permit.  However, immigration considers many individuals with criminal records “high priorities” for detention and deportation.  If you or someone you know has a criminal record and is thinking about applying, please read the rest of this article.   

In my work as an immigration and criminal attorney, I have seen immigration arrest many young people that have already received “deferred action.”  Usually, these young people have been caught and convicted for some offense like drunk driving, and are then arrested again by Immigration after the criminal case ends.  It is very easy to lose deferred action after receiving it, and many offenses will cause many people to be ineligible in the future.  

Below is a list of the most common criminal offenses that may cause someone to be eligible to apply for deferred action.  If anyone is currently charged with a crime, he or she should immediately seek the help of an attorney to try to eliminate the charges or to reduce them.  A good criminal attorney should be able to help.

Here are the most common offenses that would affect an application for “deferred action.”  

  • Drunk driving.
  • Drug charges of any kind.
  • Felonies of any kind.
  • Domestic violence
  • Unlawful use of a weapon (it is almost always illegal for an undocumented individual to possess, use, or carry a firearm or other weapon).
  • Most offenses related to stealing or burglary.

Also, if a person has three misdemeanors of any type on their record (even many minor traffic offenses that are not listed above) he or she may not be eligible.  

Thanks for reading!