Soon after launching the “deferred action” program to suspend immigration enforcement actions against qualifying individuals who came to the U.S. as children, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) started to issue clarifying interpretations related to the program.
Both the White House and DHS have made it clear that deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal actions against certain individuals as an act of prosecutorial discretion, and thus, deferred action does not confer lawful status on an individual. It does, however, insure that prosecutors will not take action against the affected individuals for past immigration violations for a defined period of time.
Those authorities have also made clear that any individual who knowingly makes a misrepresentation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) or to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), or who knowingly fails to disclose key facts to USCIS or ICE in an effort to receive deferred action will be treated as an immigration enforcement priority, subjecting that individual to criminal prosecution and/or removal from the U.S.
Many people have come to this blog looking for information about the “application process for deferred action,” but that process was not announced at the time the program was launched. However, those interested in finding out more about the process to qualify for deferred action can call the USCIS hot-line at (800) 375-5283, and those in removal proceedings already can call the hot-line for ICE at (888) 351-4024.
ICE will immediately offer deferred action for a period of 2 years, subject to renewal, for those individuals already in removal proceedings who meet the eligibility criteria for deferred action.
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.