A deferred action, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, is “a discretionary determination to defer a deportation of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion.” Deferred action can be granted in a number of situations.
- Ad Hoc
This type of action is typically granted in a case-by-case basis. It is typically granted for humanitarian reasons, such as when sick children are citizens of the country and the parents are undocumented but need to remain in the U.S. to provide care.
- Specified Groups
These are broad-based grants that give temporary protected status to certain groups of people. This targeted action has been applied since the 1970s. In some cases, it has been enacted to allow families to stay together, it has also been used to protect victims of domestic abuse or violence.
A deferred action can be granted by a federal immigration judge or USCIS. Those who have been granted deferred action are in no danger of deportation actions. These people are considered to be lawfully present in the country. That said, USCIS has the discretion to terminate a deferred action should they find it necessary to do so.
An experienced immigration attorney can assist someone in seeking a deferred action. It is important to understand that it is not granted to everyone, and there are specific requirements that must be met along with documentation that must be submitted. Reach out to an attorney to apply for deferred action appropriately or to discuss a denial for such action.