Klinge said Catholic Charities attorneys are starting to meet with would-be applicants and are disseminating information to churches to make sure accurate information is reaching those in need.
“Some people think this is the DREAM Act,” Klinge said. “It's not. There is no path to citizenship, there are no substantive rights.”
Doug Stump, Oklahoma City immigration attorney and president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers Association added, “Deferred action is not immunity. Deferred action is not permanent. Deferred action is not a pathway to a green card or citizenship. Deferred action is not legal status. Youth that qualify cannot vote or petition for family members. This is a temporary reprieve.”
Stump said those wanting to apply should only seek the council of qualified immigration attorneys and reputable organizations.
They should start gathering financial records, medical records, school records, employment records and military records to show they meet eligibility requirements.
For immigrants who choose to come forward and qualify, Homeland Security officials will use prosecutorial discretion to grant deferred action. The reprieve will be valid for two years and can be renewed.
The status allows immigrants to apply for work permits. Those granted work permits are also able to get a driver's license in many states, including Oklahoma.