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What is deferred action?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Employment Law

The Migration Policy Institute reported 425,000 undocumented immigrants in the state of Illinois in 2019. Many of these individuals are within the workforce, and they may face unique challenges when it comes to addressing workplace grievances.

However, there exists a legal mechanism that can offer a measure of protection for those who wish to file a complaint against their employer: deferred action.

Deferred action defined

Deferred action allows undocumented immigrants to temporarily shield themselves from deportation. It assists those who may fear retaliation from an employer if they report discrimination violations. This protective status grants temporary reprieve, which usually is about two years.

To get deferred action, an individual can apply for a Statement of Interest from the Illinois Department of Human Rights. A request for this document is allowable when the person experiences or witnesses discrimination in the workplace. It does not require already having a case based on the incident.

What it cannot do

While deferred action offers temporary deportation relief, it is essential to note that it does not automatically resolve workplace complaints. Undocumented immigrants must still follow proper procedures. They will have to engage with relevant government agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to address their grievances.

Deferred action can be a saving grace for undocumented immigrants. Filing workplace complaints can be intimidating, but with this protection, it can be easier. The option creates a more secure environment for individuals to stand up against injustices and is a step towards a more equitable and just system.