In United States administrative law, deferred action is an immigration status which the executive branch can grant to illegal immigrants. This does not give them legal status, but can indefinitely delay their deportation. Deferred action is an exercise of the executive branch's enforcement discretion and was first publicly defined in a 1975 administrative guidance document published by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Major grants of deferred action include:
- Family Fairness Program, a program launched by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, and expanded by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, which granted deferred action to spouses and children of immigrants granted amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a 2012 program launched by President Barack Obama aimed at unauthorized immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.
- Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, a 2014 Obama administration program for immigrants who have citizen or permanent resident children.
- Wadhia, Shoba S. (2010). "The role of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law". Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal. 9: 243–300.
- Lind, Dara (20 November 2014). "Did George H.W. Bush really pave the way for Obama on immigration?". Vox. Vox Media. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
- "Summary of President's Immigration Accountability Executive Action" (PDF). National Immigration Forum. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.