The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently released a new round of data on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Since it was enacted on August 15, 2012, the USCIS has received more than 180,000 applications and given approval to more than 4,500 undocumented youth, according to a recent article by the Center for American Progress.
USCIS measures the success of its policies by the percentage of the target population who participate in the program. In the first two months alone, 18.9 percent of the estimated 950,000 undocumented immigrants in the United States have applied for deferred action consideration. Similar programs such as the Immigration Reform and Control Act only received applications from 13.3 percent of potential applicants in the first three months, leading to officials viewing the deferred-action program as a landmark success thus far.
The Center for American Progress notes that the high rates of initial participation will likely encourage other potential applicants to submit their paperwork. Skepticism surrounded the deferred-action program when it was first announced, as many undocumented immigrants were unsure of what consequences a rejected application would bring.
After its early successes, attention has turned to how policymakers will maintain the enthusiasm and keep the program running.
“With the Department of Homeland Security putting the first two benchmarks for success on a positive track, policymakers should be considering how to ensure that the program’s successes are taken advantage of as much as possible,” explained Marshall Fitz, Patrick Oakford and Ann Garcia, authors of the CAP article. “These immigrants have the potential to contribute to our economy and society for years to come.”
This article is brought to you by Immigration Direct, a trusted resource for matters related to the government’s deferred action program. Take the Free Deferred Action Eligibility Quiz online today.