It’s been more than a year now since eligible individuals brought to the U.S. as young children began requesting “deferred action for childhood arrivals” (DACA) relief. Of the estimated 1.76 million undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA, about 600,000 have applied. While USCIS has approved the majority of cases filed to date, proving eligibility –amassing the required documentation – remains an issue for some, as well as the anxiety associated with confidentiality and coming out of the shadows. With respect to the latter issue, undocumented youth must reveal their immigration status, names, and addresses to federal agencies. Concerns regarding disclosing personal information may not be confined to the applicant as these individuals may fear that applying for DACA will somehow lead to negative repercussions for their parents. Other potential applicants may be concerned with identifying employers who have hired them in violation of the law, which becomes particularly important when applicants use work history to establish ongoing presence in the United States. And for others, the application fee of $465 is a deterrent.
A recent report issued by the Center for American Progress (CAP) analyzes the DACA program in terms of how the program is being implemented across the country. The report details which states have been most successful with DACA outreach and implementation; which national origins groups have had the most success; and what role community-based organizations, news and traditional media, and the political context of individual states play in DACA implementation and outreach. The CAP report is available at http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/DACAReportCC-2-1.pdf. The Brookings Institute also has released a report on the program at http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2013/08/14-daca-immigration-singer.