According to statistics released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on October 12, 4,591 deferred action requests have already been granted, a sharp increase from September’s 29 approvals. Since August 15, when the program launched, 179,794 applications have been accepted for processing and 158,408 biometric services appointments, where government officials take applicants’ fingerprints to conduct criminal background checks, have been scheduled. Currently, 6,416 applications are under review, and no request has yet been officially denied.
Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, announced on June 15, 2012 that certain people who entered the United States as children and met several qualifications would be able to request a consideration of deferred action (DACA) for a period of two years, halting deportation and allowing them to be eligible for work authorization. This announcement followed the decision by President Obama to give temporary status to certain individuals below the age of 31, who had entered the United States as children. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that nearly 1.7 million immigrants could be potentially eligible for a DACA grant.
Although many applications have been granted in the program’s first two months, USCIS predicts that the average length of time necessary to process an application will be between four and six months. Because the deferred action program is still fairly new, regular updates will be provided by USCIS on a monthly basis.
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