On June 15th, President Barack Obama announced he will implement part of the DREAM Act. The administration will use its prosecutorial discretion to not prosecute those who might be eligible to remain in the United States under the Act. Instead, USCIS will focus on the removal of foreign nationals (“illegal immigrants”) that pose a greater threat (e.g., those with a criminal background).
Qualifying individuals may be granted deferred action (i.e., will not be removed) by ICE or USCIS and could become eligible for work authorization. Although, this is not technically the same as “legal status” or a path to legal status or permanent residency, once rules are implemented, the pool of available younger workers may expand. Businesses in the hospitality, restaurant, retail and agricultural industries might see increases in the number of eligible workers.