More than 53,000 young immigrants have been spared from possible deportation since President Obama’s deferred action program for childhood arrivals (DACA) began about three months ago. Between August 15 and November 15, 2012, over 308,000 requests for deferred have been received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which translates to about 4,800 requests filed per day.
More than 120,000 requests are under review and many more are in the pipeline as 273,000 cases are scheduled for biometrics. Over 10,000 applications have been rejected.
Mexico is the country of origin of a great majority of the applicants (212,514 applications), followed by El Salvador (13,769), Honduras (8,577), Guatemala (7,630) and Peru (5,052). South Korea (4,880), Brazil (4,345), Colombia (3,856), Ecuador (3,737) and the Philippines (2,613) round up the top ten countries of origin of the childhood arrivals that filed for deferred action.
The top three states of residence of the applicants are California (81,858), Texas (47,727) and New York (19,320). The other states on the list are: Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Arizona, New Jersey, Georgia and Virginia.
With President Obama’s reelection many are confident that the program will continue. A surge in the applications is very likely with more DREAMers coming out and applying for deferred action.
It is important to make sure that a DACA request is filed correctly in order to avoid delay or rejection.
In the Filing Tips recently released by the USCIS, the agency reminds everyone that small mistakes could lead to rejection of the application.
Applicants must send all forms in the same package. Form I-821D, I-765 and I-765WS must be mailed together to the correct address found in the instructions. The package must be mailed since electronic filing is not available.
The package must be accompanied by the filing fee of $465, which can be in a single check or in two separate checks of $380 and $85.
Applicants must make sure that they use the most recent versions of the forms. The USCIS reminds that all forms are available on its website for free. Also, Form I-821D should not be confused with Form I-821 which is an entirely different form.
Applicants must review age guidelines before filing. Applicants must generally be at least 15 years old at the time of filing, and cannot be 31 years or older as of June 15, 2012.
The applicant must remember to put the same name on all the forms because changes in the way the information is written can result in delays. The I-821D and I-765 forms must be signed by the applicant. If the applicant was assisted by another person, that person must also sign both forms.
All questions must be answered completely and accurately. If an item is not applicable or if the answer is “none”, the space may be left blank. However, fields asking for dates must be answered, especially those on the I-821D asking for dates and places of entry. If one cannot remember the exact place or date, the closest approximation must be provided.
Supporting documents and evidence help the USCIS make a decision on the rquest so they must in all cases be submitted with the forms. It will be helpful to the reviewing officer if the evidence is organized and labeled according to the guideline that it meets.
To establish economic need for the employment authorization, the applicant must indicate his or her personal current annual income, annual expenses and value of assets. There is no need to submit supporting documentation to prove economic necessity. Financial information of other household members is not included.
The USCIS prefers that applicants complete the form on the computer and then printed, instead of being filled out by hand. Black ink must be used if the form is filled out by hand and correction tape or “white-out” fluid must be avoided because scanners can see through it and cause the form to be processed as incorrect.