Immigration Law

Deferred Action is Not 'Amnesty'

"Now that the Obama administration has announced it will grant deferred action to certain young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as minors, their long-term fate is no longer as precarious as it's been throughout their lives here so far. But that's not to say it's no longer uncertain.  Deferred action is just that: the deferment of removal action, or deportation. It is not a path to permanent legal status, let alone citizenship. Here is how it's described on the Homeland Security website:

Deferred action does not confer lawful status upon an individual. In addition, although an alien granted deferred action will not be considered to be accruing unlawful presence in the United States during the period deferred action is in effect, deferred action does not absolve individuals of any previous or subsequent periods of unlawful presence. 

Under existing regulations, 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.” Deferred action can be terminated at any time at the agency’s discretion or renewed by the agency.

So it's not quite "amnesty" as some critics have posed." - Kitty Felde and Leslie Berestein Rojas, June 15, 2012.