Exactly What Is Deferred Action?

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Since the announcement of the new “deferred action” policy by President Obama on June 15, many questions have been raised about what the policy is and how it will be implemented.

On this blog, we will attempt to answer some of those questions for you in the days and weeks ahead with information provided by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

Of course, the most basic and common question that potentially affected individuals might pose is just: “What is deferred action?”

Basically, it is a discretionary determination on the part of federal law enforcement to defer removal action pertinent to an eligible individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. It does not confer a legal status on any individual, and it does not absolve affected individuals for any periods of unlawful presence in the U.S.

However, deferred action is intended to permit eligible individuals (see prior postings for an explanation of who is “eligible”) to stay in the U.S. without accruing additional unlawful presence time for the period necessary until Congress can reach a legislative solution on the proper treatment of foreign individuals who were brought to this country as children, or until repeal of the executive order creating the deferred action policy.

Furthermore, an individual who has been granted deferred action is eligible to receive employment authorization for the period of deferred action, provided he or she can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment.” Any deferred action determination can be limited in duration and can be terminated at any time or extended at the discretion of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

We generally do not handle deportation matters, but if you are in need of legal assistance with another immigration matter, do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.