Meaning of “Deferred Action Status” in Obama’s New Immigration Policy for Undocumented Youth

On June 15th, the President announced a new administrative policy to exercise prosecutorial discretion and grant “deferred action status” to some immigrants who came to the United States as children. What is deferred action? Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.  The new policy ensures that it will defer deportations and grant work permits for some younger undocumented immigrants.

The Administration has outlined the basic requirements for eligibility which includes:

  1. Must have come to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.

They have written the following fact sheet: “Frequently Asked Questions“, which is available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

For information on other immigration options for youth such as under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 or as a Special Immigrant Juvenile status, visit: Immigration Options for Children and Youth.

Thank you to the Immigration Advocates Network for some of the information in this article.

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