USCIS released its first quarterly report for Fiscal Year 2014 on statistics for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The numbers demonstrate not only the need for immigration reform laws, but also the need for interim relief for otherwise law-abiding undocumented people currently present in the United States.

Through December 31, 2014, a total of 610,694 requests for DACA were accepted by USCIS at their lockbox facility. Of those, 521,815 requests were approved and 15,968 were denied. An additional 72,911 requests were waiting for decisions to be made. This means that over the past year and a half, more than a half million so-called DREAM’ers were granted deferred action and employment authorization.

Of those approvals the top five countries for DACA approvals were Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and South Korea. Also of those approvals, 11,219 were residents of Colorado, ranking Colorado 11th in DACA approvals.

The DACA program is meant to be a relief program for certain undocumented people who arrived in the United States as children and were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012. Benefits include employment authorization and assurance that the requestor will not be placed into removal (deportation) proceedings for a period of two years. Among other requirements, including physical presence and education requirements, the requestor not have a serious criminal history or otherwise be a threat to public safety or national security. Following the two-year approval period, a person may apply for renewal periods of two additional years.

People who believe they might be eligible for the DACA program should seek competent legal counsel. Call (303) 371-1822 to schedule a consultation with one of our licensed attorneys.