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.
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.