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DHS answers educators' questions on deferred action (1 of 2)

"Differed action" is the title given to the Department of Homeland Security's new program that defers deportation and grants work permits to young immigrants who are in the country illegally and meet certain qualifications. Immigration officials began accepting requests for differed action on Aug. 15, and school records have proven to be key documents in the application process.

Among other things, applicants have to provide evidence that they are enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED. Additionally, school records can help prove another qualification: that the applicant has been in the country continuously for the past five years or longer. In fact, DHS officials called a high school transcript documenting four years of schooling "fantastic evidence in a single document."

DHS officials made the statement during a conference call with educators who had plenty of questions about the new policy and the role they will be providing in assisting students with the applications for deferred action.

One of the things educators wanted to know is how "official" school documents have to be. The DHS officials answered that there is no set requirement as to the form school records need to take, and any school-provided documents will be accepted. Instead, they said what matters is the content. For example, documents should include a student's name, the time period it refers to and which coursework was completed.

Please check back later this week for more on this important issue, including other questions posed by educators to the DHS officials.

Source: Education Week, "Immigration Officials Advise Educators on Deferred Action," Lesli A. Maxwell, Aug. 29, 2012

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