The Deferred Action Policy and Immigration Reform and Control Act

What continues to stop people from filing form I-821D and applying for Deferred Action? The number of Deferred Action applicants has for some reason decreased since Obama’s reelection, and this is a surprising fact.

Deferred action might not be the DREAM Act, but it is a significant policy.

Romney’s potential election threatened the continuation of DACA. One would imagine that, because of Obama’s reelection, November would have seen a large influx of applicants, but it didn’t. It is estimated that the USCIS received a little over 90,000 applications, which is a 27,000 application drop since October.

It’s important to keep in mind that legislation like Deferred Action does not come around often. The last time a large number of undocumented immigrants were given reprieve from deportation was 26 years ago.

Immigration Reform and Control Act

In 1986, President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. It allowed 1.7 million undocumented people to get legal status by creating two groups of eligible applicants: those who had lived continuously in the US since before Jan 1, 1982 and those who had worked 60 or more days in agriculture between May 1985 and May 1986.

Those who are familiar with Reagan’s conservative stance might be surprised that Regan did in fact grant what many Republicans oppose: Amnesty. Reagan said the following at the 1984 Democratic nominee televised debate: “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though some time back they may have entered illegally.”

Unlike the Immigration Reform and Control Act, Deferred Action does not grant lawful status, and it wasn’t a piece of legislation passed by Congress. DACA came to be through Obama’s executive order. It has the force of a law, but it was only issued by the president.