How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California
Sean Nash/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)
If you're one of the many people who applied early on for temporary legal status under deferred action last month, there's a small chance that your approval notice - provided your application was approved - is in the mail.
If so, then you would be in a tiny minority of 29 applicants whose cases have already been adjudicated, but more notices should be on the way soon. Here's what U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today in a statement:
In the past week, USCIS has completed adjudication of 29 requests and has more than 1600 ready for review.
USCIS is committed to adjudicating requests that fulfill the guidelines of the deferred action for childhood arrivals process consistent with the thorough review USCIS applies to all requests. All background checks, biometric information and supporting documentation must be completed before a request will be sent to an adjudicator for review.
Young people attend a recent orientation for hopeful deferred action applicants in Los Angeles.
This week, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that since the application process started Aug. 15, some 72,000 undocumented young people have filed for temporary legal status via deferred action.
The program, introduced by the Obama administration in June, provides a temporary reprieve from deportation - but no path to citizenship - for those who meet certain criteria, including that they arrived in the United States as minors under 16, have a clean record, have lived here five consecutive years and were no older than 30 as of June 15.
The first of the responses from USCIS to applicants have reportedly begun tricking out this week; so far, though, local immigrant advocates say no applicants they have worked with directly have received the news.
Other are still in the paperwork-gathering process, or waiting to apply. And some have hesitated. Although 72,000 is a substantial number of applications, some observers have noted it's relatively low given estimates that close to 2 million people could potentially qualify.
Source: Migration Policy Institute
An estimate of potential deferred action beneficiaries, by age group
Now that Homeland Security officials have issued detailed guidelines on who may may qualify for deferred action, temporary legal status that young undocumented immigrants can apply for under a new Obama administration plan, it looks like there could be more applicants in the pipeline than estimated before.
The change comes after the guidelines, released last Friday, clarified that youths lacking a high school diploma or GED would be still eligible to apply, so long as they have re-enrolled in school by the date of their application. This raises the number of potentially eligible young people, estimated at as many as 1.39 million in June by the Migration Policy Institute, to 1.76 million.
MPI now estimates that with the educational requirements as they stand, an additional 350,000 young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors could eligible for deferred action if they meet other criteria.