On July 15, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security announced a new deferred action program for certain individuals who came to the United States as children and who meet educational, continuous presence, and other key requirements. Under this program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, eligible individuals may request deferred action and work authorization for a period of two years, which is subject to renewal. At this time, the program does not provide applicants with legal status, it simply places them in a period of authorized stay during which any removal action is deferred.
On February 15, 2013, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service issued updated statistical data on DACA cases processedbetween August 15, 2012 and February 14, 2013. The data indicates that a total of 423,634 DACA applications have been accepted for processing, and that 199,460 applications have been approved to date. The data also ranks DACA applicants in terms of their country of origin and state of residence; the top three countries of origin among DACA applicants are Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras, and the top three states of residences are California, Texas, and New York.
Comprehensive immigration reform may provide avenues to legal permanent residence for DACA beneficiaries in the near future. Please check our blog regularly for the latest updates on immigration reform.