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More than 53,000 approved under DACA, White House says

Since President Barack Obama made the announcement this past summer that certain undocumented workers would be permitted to stay in the country and not have to fear being deported, many people who send money home to their families took advantage. And a recent report shows just how popular the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals – DACA, for short – has become.

According to recent data released by the White House, nearly 53,300 undocumented youth have been granted asylum under the DACA. And that's just the number of people that have been approved. Since November 15, more than 300,000 requests have been processed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The main thing holding up the process, for many, relates to background checks, as this can take awhile to determine based on the amount of paperwork that typically has to be reviewed.

The report also showed the top countries from which people originated who requested deferred action. At more than 212,500 received, Mexico was far and away the leading country from which people derived and who requested sanctuary. Other leading countries were El Salvador in a distant second at 13,769 applications received, Honduras at 8,577, Guatemala at 7,630 and Peru at just over 5,000.

Something else that the report detailed was information on where these immigrants mainly lived in the U.S. The numbers largely reflect what other data has shown, namely that California is the adopted home for most people who came from another country originally. The White House says that nearly 82,000 applications have come from the Golden State, followed by Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of the information released is that a relatively few number of applications have been denied. For example, while nearly 300,000 have been accepted, only 10,000 were turned down. This suggests that those who want to apply, but worry that they'll be rejected, may want to send their application in anyway.

There are several criteria that people have to satisfy in order to be eligible for the deferred action program. As noted by the USCIS, applicants will be considered if they were under 31 years of age on June 15, came to the U.S. before their 16th birthday, resided in the U.S. on a continuous basis for at least five years and either in school, graduated or in the military.

There are a few other benchmarks that have to be satisfied, but they can be reviewed at USCIS' website.

Immigrants are good for country, economy
Fortunately, a variety of polls have shown that most people within the U.S. are supportive of the deferred action program. However, there are some who think that the DACA will wind up hurting those who have lived here all their lives from a standpoint of employment. But as multiple studies have shown, this is not the case.

In fact, it's just the opposite. Two years ago, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco noted that immigrants help to make the U.S more productive by expanding capacity.

Helpful links:

USCIS: Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

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