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By Bushraa Khatib
In June 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it would consider deferring deportation proceedings for students and young people brought to the US as children, assuming they meet specific requirements. This classification, called “Deferred-Action,” allows APS to provide support for students who might otherwise be ineligible, and who typically have few resources to attend college.
In a 2012 press release, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano explained that U.S. immigration laws “must be enforced in a firm and sensible manner,” and that they are “not designed to remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language.”
In response, the APS Committee on Minorities (COM) considered these changes during a recent January 23 meeting and recommended that APS provide support for deferred-action students in Society programs designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue careers in physics.
Successful applicants to the federal program will receive deferred-action status for two years, which can be renewed, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.
To be eligible, individuals must have come to the US under the age of sixteen; have continuously lived in the US for at least 5 years prior to June 12, 2012; currently be in school, graduated from high school, or have obtained their GED; have not been convicted of a felony or threaten national security or public safety in any way; and cannot be above the age of 30.
And to support students who are often without resources to study in this country, long-time APS member Robert Stanek recently made a significant bequest to APS that will provide support for underrepresented students who would like to study physics in this country. His preference is that the funds be used to help undocumented students, and may help deferred-action students in the future.
More information is available at the Minorities in Physics web page, and on the U.S. Citizenship and Immmigration Services website.
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