75,000 Deferred Action Applications Received So Far

Last week USCIS releases the number of applications that have been filed under the new program initiated by President Obama called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. An estimated 75,000 applications have been filed which is lower than the expected 250,000 applications. First approvals have also been issued. One of the reasons noted for the lower-than-expected number of applications is the difficulty in gathering adequate evidence to meet all of the criteria, particularly evidence of physical presence in the United States for the children who were brought to the US without inspection. Often, those children did not have much evidence of when they entered and after they graduated high school, they frequently took jobs where they were paid cash without a paper trail. To be eligible for the program, applicants must demonstrate continuous physical presence in the US from June 15, 2007 to present. Applicants are encouraged to look to churches, libraries, community organizations, health clubs, doctors, and any other evidence available to prove continuous presence. They can also submit affidavits from people who saw them living in the US for the requisite period of time. Currently, the USCIS estimates that it will take between 4 and 6 months to make a decision on the application. All people applying are encouraged to make sure their application is complete and contains all required evidence as there is no appeal available to those whose application is denied. Help from a qualified lawyer practicing immigration law is always a good idea and many attorneys are taking cases on a sliding scale depending in financial need or even for free in situations where the applicant cannot afford legal help.

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