President Barack Obama called the move a "stop-gap" measure, asserting, "This is not amnesty. This is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It is not a permanent fix."
"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."
It can be terminated or renewed at any time by the federal government, who is allowing those who are granted deferred action to receive temporary employment authorization. Deferred action is valid for two years once granted, upon which it can be reviewed again. Whether the measure is still valid at that point depends on who occupies the White House in two years.
As KPCC's Leslie Berestein Rojas and Kitty Felde put it, it's not quite amnesty. But it also signals that removing unauthorized immigrants who meet the following criteria aren't a priority for Homeland Security – at least for now:
1. Came to the U.S. under the age of 16
2. Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years before the date Homeland Security's June 15 announcement was made and were living in the U.S. at the time of the announcement
3. Are currently in high school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a G.E.D, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or armed forces
4. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, multiple misdemeanors or posed a threat to national security
5. Are no older than 30
Ninth District Councilwoman Jan Perry praised the Obama Administration's move.
“For far too long our outdated immigration laws have divided families and punished young people by ripping them away from the country, family and community that they have grown up with and loved," said Perry in an email statement. "Today’s announcement is an incredible step in the right direction and I applaud our President for moving us forward on immigration reform."
KPCC has more on deferred action.