August 15, 2014

5 facts about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program

Two years ago today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting applications for the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Known as DACA, the program provides temporary relief from deportation and a two-year work permit to qualifying young adults ages 15 to 30 who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Many of those approved are now eligible to re-applyto renew their work permit. The program does not provide a pathway to citizenship.

Here are some facts and figures on DACA.

Most applications received for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) have been approved.1The vast majority of young unauthorized immigrants who applied have received relief from deportation and a temporary work permit. Through March 31, 2014, 86% of 643,000 applications accepted have been approved, according to government data. When the program started, the Pew Research Center estimated that up to 950,000 young unauthorized immigrant youths were immediately eligible to apply for the new program, but not all those eligible have applied for the program. Each application carries a $465 fee.

2Some 77% (428,000) of those who have received a temporary work permit are Mexican. Those from El Salvador, at 4%, have the next highest number of approvals. No other country accounted for more than 3% of approvals.

3 California has 162,000 deferred action recipients, compared with 88,000 from Texas. Both states border Mexico and have the highest populations of Mexican immigrants. Arizona, another border state with many Mexican immigrants, has the highest application rate. Some 66% of 34,000 eligible people have applied, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

4When the program was announced in 2012, there was general support among the U.S. general public. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults (63%) approved of the new immigration program, according to a 2012 Pew Research Center survey. An even greater share of Hispanics (89%) said the same, according to the Pew Research Center’s 2012 National Survey of Latinos.

5President Obama has discussed a number of executive orders to expand deportation relief to unauthorized immigrants, though no announcement has occurred yet. Among the options being considered is an expansion of the deferred action program to the parents of those whose applications have already been approved under the program. Such a move could extend deportation relief to up to 1 million people, according to one estimate.


Category: 5 Facts

Topics: Barack Obama, Immigration, Unauthorized Immigration

  1. Photo of Mark Hugo Lopez

    is director of Hispanic research at Pew Research Center.

  2. Photo of Jens Manuel Krogstad

    is a writer/editor focusing on Hispanics, immigration and demographics at Pew Research Center.


  1. Ivey hoy2 years ago

    Ivey hoy. I think that obamas view on immigration is better than trumps view because I think if by have already made it to the country they should get to be treated as a citizen and go through the process of becoming a citizen. Not just get deported I think that trimp is in the wrong in just trying to get rid of them.

  2. Ivey hoy2 years ago

    I agree more with what President Obama is doing with the immigrants because he give them a chance to live here and what Donald Trump is doing is just wrong I understand if they came here illegally but I don’t think that all immigrants should be sent back to where they came from. so for this blog I think that President Obamas view on the immigrants is better than Donald Trump’s.

  3. Krista2 years ago

    I have a 21 yr old hispanic friend who says hes been here in the states since he was 4 but he never got legal because his parents have feared deportation so he never even looked into it. However when he tried to join the military and couldnt, he began wanting to know what he needs to do to become a citizen or at LEAST get a visa?
    Thank you,

  4. maya2 years ago

    one question, if I was brought to the US before the age of 16 then 8 months later after turning 16 my parents took me to Mexico and came back 2 years later in 2009 and the DACA was announced June 15, 2012 will I need to pay a fee for leaving since I was under age? or do I just no qualify because I wasn’t here 5 years continuously since I came back in 2009?

  5. southernnewjersey3 years ago

    The United States of America is the a nation of immigrants the only people that could really claim this land is the Natives & no I’m not talking about the white people who a lot of them seem to forget on how they made the united states of america through elimination of the Native population Slavery to the Black or colored people through the believe of manifest destiny annexing other countries territories by force . I know alot would opose me but, some would agree with me .

    1. Summer2 years ago

      The United States of America was created by white immigrants predominantly from England. The people you are referring to as Natives arrived via Asia and the Bering Strait and formed tribal nations. The immigrants now coming from Mexico and El Salvador are leaving areas that are rich in natural resources. They have had centuries in which they could have created a nation as great as the United States. Instead they created countries rife with corruption and gang violence. While it is true that the white people that formed the United States did some things that were inhumane, they also created a great country, a country of which those who have failed in their own homes wish now to come and reap the benefits.

  6. Leon Raul3 years ago

    I applied and got approved in 6 months. I would not have had to apply for this BUT the United States horrible immigration system that people in the US are hellbent to keep broken took way too long to aprove my initial application that was done by my US CITIZEN mom. Who pays her taxes with absolutely no criminal record (like me) and works with handicapped people here in the US. Now because I turned 21 because USCIS took too long I AM NO LONGER CONSIDERED AND IMMEDIATE RELATIVE TO MY OWN MOTHER. That is correct once you turn 21 USCIS does not consider you to be an immediate relative to your own mother. But hey, I am sure the hillbillies up in DC would die to keep the system that way it is.

  7. Sandra3 years ago

    As soon as my DACA went through I went to the mall and got the first job I was offered, I’m still there two years later, I’m full time with benefits and we don’t have close to enough staff so if you really think we’re stealing jobs why aren’t there people clawing at the door to try to get to work at my store? If you and your children so desperately need jobs, go out and get them. They are there, trust me. I’m not sending any money anywhere outside the country so I’m not hurting the economy like many of you are saying. Yes I pay taxes and I’m paying for my education, thankfully in a state that doesn’t force me to pay out-of-state tuition. Why isn’t there ever a fuss over people who come over from Asia, study at our universities in STEM fields and then immediately go back to their country to implement their skills against us? Watch Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Inside Man, his episode on Immigration will explain this idea of illegal immigrants coming here with work visas to pick your produce and showcase how truly difficult it is. Thankfully I don’t have to do such hard labor in order to get ahead but I respect anyone who has to and so should you. Stop drinking orange juice if you’re so opposed to it. And as for having to accommodate Spanish speaker’s in your everyday life GET OVER IT. When you travel don’t you expect all the signs to be available in English? Give them a break, most of them are trying to learn it takes no effort on your part to press one button to get your language setting. This country doesn’t belong to one group, it’s everyone’s; that what makes it so great. You’re defaming what America stands for when you state who it does and doesn’t belong to.

    1. ann3 years ago

      What is your job?

  8. silvia fernandez3 years ago

    I had turned 16 two weeks before arriving to the USA so I do not apply for DACA…i hope they come up with something for all those like me who had no choice and were brought to this country as child because I am a dreamer too…I’m going back to school soon however I have to pay out of my pocket ..concerned if I’ll be able to work after I graduate or I’ll be wasting my money…hope they find a solution soon.

    1. Frustrated Citizen3 years ago

      Or you could do the right thing, and respect our laws and go improve your own country instead of requesting or demanding things you have no right to. A 16 year old is different than a 2 year old with no memory of their home and language. Wanting something is entirely different than being entitled to it.

      It’s unfortunate that your parents did this to you, but you need to bring it up with them-not expect US citizens to put your needs before our own.

      1. Cynthia2 years ago

        How rud of you to speak to a 16 year old that way… How old are you ? Fustrated citizen ? Of what? Are you a Native American? If not why dont you shut up n stop trying to be a fustrated person PERIOD. Making our country a better place? Have you even made anything here in the Us for yourself? If yes, why are you fustrated ? Be happy live your life n stop hating your brothers and sisters we all ONE!! Stop being racis . Peace

        1. Summer2 years ago

          Frustrated Citizen’s comments were factual, not racist. Your comments on the other hand are a personal attack.

      2. John2 years ago

        You must know that you are also a descendant of illegal immigrants. Not only illegal immigrants, also invaders who killed native Americans and took their land with force. Now you sound like you are clean to live in US.Go try talk like that in front of native american.

        1. Summer2 years ago

          The people you are referring to as “native Americans” were nomadic, and did not did not settle and create this great country. Even now, those “native Americans” earn money largely through gambling, which is not a very honorable business and does little to promote society.

    2. Joan3 years ago

      Do you mean you will have to pay out of your own pocket, the way my three kids have had to pay out of their own pockets? Damn, if only they had been born someplace else and smuggled into America, I guess they could be DREAMERS too and get educated by the generosity of the US taxpayers. Dreams only become reality when you do the right thing, work hard and take risks. It is wrong to break laws and then expect that something good will come of it. Mexico has universities. What is wrong with those institutions?

      1. bri3 years ago

        Pretty sure she means she’s not able to get any loans from the government, which every American citizen is able to do. She literally has to pay upfront – out of pocket.

        And a teenager does not have much of a choice when their parents decide to move. I sure as hell didn’t have the means to stay in the town I grew up in when my parents decided to move to another town. Teenagers typically do what their parents tell them to do, especially when it comes to having a roof over their head.

        Now you’re asking someone who was brought by her parents and has developed a whole life around her to uproot *again* and try to start her life over yet *again*.

    3. silu3 years ago

      I am also in this same category, in which i came here at sixteen. I also go to school hoping that someday i live my dream of becoming a doctor and helping others but at the moment i have no idea if my dream will become a reality, I am hoping and praying that whatever the Obama administration come up with will be able to help me and others like me fulfill our dream. In the eyes of some we may look like common criminals breaking the law but but we only came here to live the American Dream

  9. Joan Secrest3 years ago

    The border should be fixed first, and until then the President MUST follow the laws. Then after he has secured the border, we can set up temporary work programs for the immigrants. Any that have been in trouble, must be returned to their country. That is what kept the immigrant violence down in the past. If they were arrested, home they would go, so they would behave and work and go to school. English must be a part of any program also. Anyone who overstays their visas, must be returned to their home country. We must be able to know where immigrants are and what they are doing. If they have a job, we should make it easy for them to stay in the US. Doctors, and other specialty jobs should be given special extensions. All others should be reviewed. Anyone who doesn’t know American English after 10 years would be given 6 months to learn it and if they don’t, they will be returned to their country. We want people who want to be a part of our mixing bowl of a country, not have their own country inside of our country and expect any special benefits. No government benefits should be given to anyone that is not here legally or has some id.

    1. bri3 years ago

      ” Any that have been in trouble, must be returned to their country.”

      Dude, that’s a big part of the whole point of legalizing them – in order to get the legal status and work permit, they have to submit background checks. Someone with a criminal history will not be given a status.

      And undocumented immigrants are unable to get any benefits from the US government. Like, it’s pretty much impossible.

  10. the truth3 years ago

    I find it sad that people like unique and Jack always say ”they are taking our jobs” blah blah blah, that’s bull. The US isn’t short on jobs theirs jobs everywhere. The problem isn’t jobs, the problem is that congress have managed to infect people’s minds into thinking that our jobs are being taken by workers who want to work from other countries. The problem is that Americans have become so lazy, that they don’t want the HARD jobs, you know the jobs Americans don’t want because they’re so heavy, no benefits with low pay. So don’t go around saying that theirs no jobs and that ”they are taking our jobs” because you’re to lazy and want an easy job. The only people taking jobs from Americans are Americans. And yes I said Americans. Look at the companies like Apple sending thousands of jobs to other countries instead of giving it’s Americans jobs here in America. But no one talks about that right, people complain and complain about jobs but everyone supports companies like Apple to send jobs elsewhere. Instead of being inhuman and treating people different because of how they look and where they’re from remember that no law will ever stop us from being humans, we are first before any law. So if you complain and complain and go around saying ”they are taking our jobs” go ahead and say it, but say it to big companies like Apple and demand them to bring back our jobs that THEY stole from Americans. No human is illegal!

    1. Don3 years ago

      I’ll start with your last comment. Although no human is illegal, humans do illegal things. Every person you are talking about has done something illegal. You are correct that many companies are outsourcing jobs, both hi-level and low-level jobs to reduce labor costs but I wouldn’t say no one is complaining. However, those jobs that can’t be outsourced are being filled by people that have come here illegally. Your comment that the US isn’t short on jobs is absolutely absurd. The reason that Americans aren’t taking the jobs that people here illegally have is because the pay stinks, there are no benefits and the Americans will complain if they are exploited. If you go to states were there are very few people here illegally you will find those jobs are filled by Americans. If those here illegally went home the wages and benefits for most of the jobs they have would have to be raised and then Americans would take them. That’s the way the free market works and all Americans and those immigrants here legally would benefit. You can believe what you want but you can’t make up facts to justify your argument.

      1. Joan3 years ago

        The fact that illegals are willing to do these menial jobs for so little pay, hurts our economy. If they weren’t here, those jobs will still need to be done and the companies would have to raise the pay and provide benefits in order for Americans to have them. As long as their is a large (and growing) pool of illegals willing to take these jobs, nothing will change.

        1. Erica3 years ago

          No, they actually boost the economy. How many Americans do you know are willing to spend 12-hour shifts harvesting out on plantations? Or other similar low-class jobs? And lets be honest, agricultural companies WANT undocumented people smuggled into the country, that’s not going to change. They work hand in hand with the coyotes that traffic workers across the border. Unless you can convince companies to pay Americans an American salary plus benefits – but heaven knows how much they’ll jack up prices because of it.

  11. Valeriano3 years ago

    Interestingly enough, not a thing has been given, nor will it be. These such undocumented must pay out of their pocket an amount to even be considered for the work authorization. Certain requirements must be met in addition prior to applying. As you can see the opportunity is allowed. The guarantee is not given, thus the employment is Not Given. These are paid for.

    What is given are excuses by others already residents or citizens as for why they do not wish to be employed. The lack of will and perseverance will undoubtedly lead to the unemployment of these.

    There is much to be said, but for the moment the policy remains in place. Future actions may be voted on if that should be the case.

    1. Bill3 years ago

      Granted, those immigrants who have come here illegally are willing to work jobs that many citizens are loathe to work. I say that US citizens that are on the public dole should be forced to take jobs, regardless of their taste or willingness to do them. Many of these jobs are entry level or extreme physical labor, and that is what makes them so unpalatable to some. As a young man in high school and going to college in Montana, I worked farms and ranches, and did construction work to make money. I worked alongside many Hispanics in the hay fields, and several landscaping jobs as well. The physical labor in itself was an inspiration to complete my education and work for something better. We must ensure that the citizens who are out of work and putting a drain on public assistance programs get work first. Immigrants who come to this country are welcome, but they must come here in a legal way, not just run helter-skelter over the border. This is trying to manage chaos, and the system will collapse. Shame on the politicians who try to portray these immigrants as having some inherent “right” to be here. They have every right to want something better for themselves. They also have every right to affect change in the countries they are fleeing, whether they are fleeing widespread corruption in government, or drug cartels and the attendant violence they offer. If we don’t manage who enters our country and in what fashion, how will we guarantee that we are not allowing entry to people who are intent on carrying out some degree of criminal or terrorist activity?
      One other thing. The state I currently live in has a very immigrant friendly policy, so much so that they will offer state jobs to immigrants who are not citizens before they offer jobs to those who were born here. Now I ask, how is that “Fair”?

  12. unique3 years ago

    With all the Americans either out of work, looking for work,
    workers working part time wanting full time work, this
    Government is going to give work permits to people that are
    not even American Citizens and should not be in this country.
    These illegal aliens need to be sent back to their countries of
    origin where they can work and not take jobs away from our
    American Citizens, Veterans, Senior Citizens, American
    Teenagers and those Disabled that are able to work.

    What is wrong with this Administration ???? AMERICANS FIRST…………….

    1. Jack3 years ago

      I agree with Unique, these DACA people could take 600K jobs
      that Americans need. Why is this administration so blind to
      the needs of out of work Americans?

    2. Marisela3 years ago

      Officials from Department of Labor told me that even undocumented immigrants have the right to work here, to support their families. Go figure.

      1. Don3 years ago

        Not sure who told you that. Legally the employer is breaking the law by hiring an illegal alien. That said, anyone getting hired needs to provide the employer with certain documents which if you are here illegally, other than DACA and those with Temporary Protective Status an illegal alien would not have.

        1. dreamer supporter3 years ago

          FYI the government gives ANY person that applies a # to file their taxes, so im not sure how that should work. they don’t have a permit to work but CAN get one to file taxes?? where is that money supposed to come from? would you help me? Im confused THANKS

      2. Starley2 years ago

        I am curious where the right to work in a country you have entered illegally is written. The law states hiring illegal aliens is illegal as well. Point of fact, a person here in violation of US sovereignty should have neither any rights nor benefits.

    3. John3 years ago

      It pisses me off to see so many ignorant people. First of all we are all immigrants, take history class . Second of all no one is stealing nobodys job. If you can’t find a job, that’s because of your incompetence. Go to college. Or better yet, go do some manual labor.
      These people come here to give their families a better life. They work hard paying taxes, some of which they will never get back. Third of all, stop being a racist, and your problems will be solved. Thank you, have a very nice day 🙂

      1. Bob3 years ago

        Hey John- you are right in that most of us are the children, grandchildre, great-grand children, etc. of immigrants who entered this country LEGALLY. They had to learn the language to survive – not of this “press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish – etc garbage. There is a difference, my friend – also a good percentage of the money earned by the recent ILLEGAL immigrants goes back to their home country – it does not help the US economy at all. And our stupid government continues to give these countries monetary assistance FOR NOTHING.
        That doesn’t spell a bright future for our country – $17.5 TRILLION in debt and we still give money away. STUPID!!!

      2. Don3 years ago

        John, we might all be immigrants but we did not all come here illegally. That is a big difference. Someone who is willing to work outside the law (wages, hours, benefits) is stealing someone else’s job. The reason we have labor laws is to protect workers so they are not exploited.

        Your suggestion of “go to college” is shortsighted. The current immigration reform bill wants to issue more H1B visas. Currently those who graduate with a STEM degree only have a 50% chance of getting a job. many college grads are working in Starbucks and Target because they can’t get other jobs.

        Most of the people you speak of do come here for a better life but that doesn’t make it okay to break the law. If you can steal my job can you steal my car to get there?

        Regardless of whether they pay taxes they get back way more than they ever pay. Illegal immigration rights groups claim that these people pay 2.7 billion a year in all taxes in California. That may be true but just educating their children costs the state over 5 billion a year. Forget medical costs, public safety, incarceration, public defender and of course just general infrastructure costs.

        Lastly, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them a racist and if you are talking about the Hispanic population that would most likely make the person (if they are white) a bigot not a racist. I’m a white guy who thinks almost all here illegally should be deported. But I also think anyone here from Canada or Great Britain or Australia should be deported as well. What does that make me?

      3. PKLatham3 years ago

        Regarding ‘John’s’ (below) remarks- No, we are NOT all immigrants! Most of us now were born here. John, there is a difference. Others came here legally- there is a difference. These Americans don’t owe illegals anything! Back when our ancestors ‘immigrated’ there were rules and they were followed- rules for a purpose. Read history!
        Who are you to change these rules?
        And why would Americans want immigrants that refuse to learn the language, demand signs, schools teach in Spanish etc., protest, carrying a foreign flag, defiantly claim this country is theirs and sneak into this country and claim ‘rights’? Where do they get this idea? Certainty not from their own country that throw invaders in jail!

        Yet they DEMAND rights here?

        It’s activists that blur the facts to suit their political/personal desires and Americans will never give away their country by force, nor pay higher taxes to provide the services necessary for these illegals to remain while contributing little; picking fruit and mowing lawns our teenagers can do. What can peasants contribute? Especially when they won’t/can’t even speak English, what’s their future? They drive cars to work – illegally – ignoring the laws endangering others. Have you seen the stats of incarcerations? Crime?
        Please don’t act so pompous and spout off your one-sided rhetoric – we too follow and study the issues and what’s going on. We place fellow Americans first – ahead of those sneaking in!
        And we earned that right – by coming here legally!

      4. silvia fernandez3 years ago

        Well said John 🙂 …i pay taxes every year…my husband works and gets deductions on his paycheck but he’s got no benefits…I’m a stay at home mom planning on going back to school soon that’s what my parents brought me to this country for 13 years ago, however I can’t apply for DACA because I was already 16 when I got into the country but not giving up 🙂

      5. Alejandra A2 years ago


        I am a DACA student/ worker. Just wanted to Thank You for defending immigrants like me. You are absolutely right, we are all immigrants and people forget where they came from. Its like me, I am 23 and been here since I was 2 and it like me saying I don’t know Spanish, when I was born in Mexico! Its that stupid how people are. So Thank You so much!!!! 🙂