According to Fox News, a total of 537,662 requests were received between Aug. 15, 2012 and June 30, 2013 under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. On June 15, 2012, President Barack Obama announced the beginning of the DREAM Act, an initiative to allow undocumented children a grace period to live in the U.S. Of the approximately 530,000 who applied for the program, 400,562 were approved. It was estimated that more than 900,000 met the requirements to apply when the program was announced, showing that over half of those eligible applied.
According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the requirements for eligibility were and still are as follows:
- You were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 and came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday
- You have continuously lived in the U.S. since June 15, 2007, up to now
- You were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
- You entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012
- You are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States
- You have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
For many who meet the requirements, the program opens doors to education and employment in the U.S. Others who have not applied wait on word of immigration reform, hoping to avoid paying the fee to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and a green card application. Some want to skip the former and just worry about the latter, as it is a more permanent solution.