December 06, 2012
Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan
On November 16, 2012, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released data on the applications received for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The report shows the following:
- As of that date, 308,935 applications had been received and 53,273 had been approved.
- Top 10 countries of origin include Mexico (212,514), El Salvador (13,769), Honduras (8,577), Guatemala (7,630), Peru (5,052), South Korea (4,880), Brazil (4,345), Colombia (3,856), Ecuador (3,737), and Philippines (2,613).
- Top 10 states of residence include California (81,858), Texas (47,727), New York (19,320), Florida (15,318), Illinois (13,904), North Carolina (11,138), Arizona (11,074), New Jersey (10,474), Georgia (10,206), and Virginia (5,886).
DACA was announced to the public on June 15, 2012, when President Obama and the Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the U.S. as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. Unlike the DREAM Act (which Congress has still failed to enact), DACA does not provide an individual with permanent residence nor is it a pathway to citizenship.
A person may apply for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if he or she
- Was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and for those applying affirmatively, is over the age of 15 when the application is submitted
- Came to the United States before reaching his or her 16th birthday
- Has continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time
- Was physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making the request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had expired lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012
- Is currently in school, has graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, has obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or is an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- Has not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and does not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
Benefits of deferred action include deferral of removal action, temporary employment authorization, the ability to apply for a social security number (and often driver’s licenses), and, likely in the future, the ability to request an advance parole travel document for those with a compelling need to travel outside the United States for reasons related to a current employment, education, or humanitarian purpose.
If you are interested in a consultation regarding your eligibility for DACA consideration, contact our immigration attorneys at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C.