© 2012 Farhad Sethna, Attorney
The expected deluge of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)submissions has not yet materialized. As of September 13, 2012, the USCIS had received over 82,000 DACA petitions. This is a trickle compared to the estimated 1.2 to 1.4 million DACA-eligible individuals.
Some of the reasons for the sluggish pace of DACA filings may be that prospective DACA applicants are concerned about the dangers of filing a DACA application, especially if they are living with family or friends who may be undocumented. Prospective applicants may be afraid those individuals may then be deported if DHS (Department of Homeland Security) pays a home visit. Other individuals may be concerned because they have used a false name or a social security number that was not issued to them.
Please note that any DACA-eligible person who is already in proceedings should apply for DACA. The downside of filing for DACA is negligible because in such a case, any information that would be divulged in the DACA application would usually be disclosed in court as well. Even individuals who have not been granted Deferred Action by USICE may be eligible for DACA. Standards for DACA are different from standards for Deferred Action so even if a person is ineligible for Deferred Action, that person may be eligible for DACA.
Given the various twists and turns within the DACA saga thus far, and the fact that there are no regulations on DACA, the standards for this relief are still evolving. This is only general information about DACA. The USCIS is updating FAQ’s on its website. Check the FAQ’s and this website for updates. Please be sure to consult a qualified immigration attorney before filing for DACA.