There are many potential risks to applying for deferred action. Those risks include:
- Alerting immigration officials to your presence
- Alerting immigration officials to the presence of family members
- Being at risk of deportation if you have a criminal record or immigration determines you committed fraud in the application process
- Not being able to appeal a decision
Even if you meet all the requirements for deferred action, your application can still be denied. If your application is denied, you cannot appeal the decision.
The Department of Homeland Security will conduct background checks, collect information from local law enforcement, and examine your criminal history during the application process. If you apply for deferred action and are not eligible, you risk being detained and deported. It is strongly recommended that you work with an experienced immigration attorney before applying for deferred action.
Benefits of being granted deferred action status include:
- Being eligible for work authorization and a social security number
- Possibly being eligible for benefits such as a state ID/driver’s license, in-state college tuition, or non-federal forms of financial aid
- Eligibility will be determined by individual states and universities
- In Texas, undocumented students are already eligible for in-state tuition rates and non-federal financial aid. Texas law states that a person with Deferred Action status will be eligible to obtain an ID/driver’s license.
Being granted deferred action status will NOT:
- Make a person eligible to join the U.S. military
- Make a person’s family eligible for deferred action status (unless those individuals are also eligible)
- Make an otherwise ineligible college student eligible for federal financial aid