If you’re like me, you believe that the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process is indeed welcome, though not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform. We hope to continue to hear reports that the process is fair and accessible and to see that its benefits outweigh the risks for these promising young people.
One of the latest developments on the DACA front is a rise in the number of applications. Please join us in keeping an eye on this process, in case we need to go to bat for these young people.
On November 16, USCIS released new statistics on applications for the DACA program. According to the report, the agency has received over 300,000 applications since August, and over 53,000 applications have been approved. The most common countries of origin for applicants are Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras, and the greatest numbers of applications have come from applicants in California, Texas, and New York.
The frequency of applications for DACA dipped slightly in weeks prior to the election, as some DREAMers were unsure what would happen after people went to the polls. However, since Election Day, the application rate has picked back up to a steady average of 5,000 requests per day. The increase in applications is a good indication of the program’s promise, as there are an estimated 1.2 million individuals in the United States who are potentially eligible.
LIRS has consistently supported DACA, which offers educational and work opportunities to some undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. We were dismayed by reports of states denying driver’s licenses and other benefits to recipients, but are happy to see that applications have been smooth.