DACA Program Sees Applications Decrease from October Peak

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, officially announced by the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012, saw a decrease in applications since the application became available in August 2012.  According to statistics released December 14, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received 367,903 applications for Deferred Action, 102,965 of which have been approved.  October saw USCIS receive over 113,494 applications for the program, the largest volume in one month since the program began; midway through December, only 23,604 applications had arrived that month.

DACA affords undocumented immigrants who meet several key requirements the opportunity to apply for deferred action and work authorization.  For an applicant to be succesful s/he must: (1) be 31 years old or younger as of June 15, 2012; (2) have arrived in the United States before his/her 16th birthday; (3) have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 until the present; (4) not have had lawful status in the United States as of June 15, 2012; (5) be currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or be an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and (6) have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Many political pundits have predicted that President Obama will begin his second term by proposing comprehensive immigration reform; until such reform is passed, DACA provides a way for many undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States.