What is Deferred Action?

On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced a new program to grant relief from removal and deportation from the United States for certain undocumented immigrants. Illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements will get a two-year period in which they will NOT face the threat of deportation or removal proceedings. During this two-year period, the illegal immigrant can apply for and be given work authorization. This program is called the “Deferred Action Process for Young People” or also the “Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals.” The goal of this program is to stop the deportation of young people who do not pose a security threat to the United States that entered the U.S. illegally, or have been here illegally for any amount of time after entering legally.

Deferred Action is NOT legal status. Applying for this program will not give an illegal immigrant a Green Card, nor help an illegal immigrant in getting a Green Card in the future. Deferred Action is, simply put, a decision made by immigration authorities in the U.S. to stop prosecuting an illegal immigrant for the two-year periods in which the immigrant has been given Deferred Action. When Deferred Action is granted to an illegal immigrant, it gives an illegal immigrant a period of two years to live, study, and work in the U.S. without having to fear the threat of being deported. Deferred Action is given in two-year increments, and must be renewed every two years. If the illegal immigrant does not re-apply, then he/she is no longer safe from being removed from the U.S., and cannot work legally in the U.S.