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More immigrants benefiting from DACA

One of the most popular moves performed by President Barack Obama during his tenure in office has been the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals. Otherwise known as DACA, hundreds of thousands of unauthorized immigrants have been able to live in the U.S. without fear of being removed thanks to its implementation.

And as the most recent statistics provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services makes plain, many people have taken advantage of it – a large percentage of whom are in the U.S. solely so they can send money home to their families in need.

According to the USCIS statistics, which include all applications filed between August 15 and December 13, nearly 368,000 people have filled out the necessary paperwork of the 1.8 million who are eligible to do so. Of these, 103,000 people have already been given the green light to be able to stay in the U.S. under the deferred action program, while 157,000 await word from immigration officials.

In the five months that the program has been in force, the most active month for requests was October. More than 117,200 were received in the 31-day period, followed by September at 108,500, November at 79,750 and August at 37,800. Through the first half of December, 24,500 have been received.

More than 95 percent accepted in December
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of December's numbers are how few people have been rejected. Of the exactly 24,483 that immigration officials have collected, a mere 880 were turned down. This means that a whopping 96 percent of the applications have been deemed eligible and accepted.

The report also detailed the countries from which the applicants originated from. At 258,700, the overwhelming majority come from Mexico. The country of El Salvador was second at 15,700, followed by fellow Central American locales Honduras, Guatemala and South America's Peru.

The hundreds of thousands who've benefited from the program may come from different backgrounds and circumstances, but they all have one thing in common – gratitude that they're able to stay in the U.S.

Alfredo Galvan Ortiz, a senior at Cedar Ridge High School in Texas, told U.S News and World Report he's proud to be 'DACAmented.'

"It means a whole lot to me, especially at this time in my life," Ortiz told the news source. "I plan to go to college and college is far from free … Now that I'm approved and have a job permit, I can definitely get a job and actually pay my tuition."

He added that while he has an idea of where he would like to go to college, DACA broadens his horizons, enabling him to choose from many different universities he'd like to attend.

Texas, the state in which Ortiz now lives, has been among the leading states to take advantage of the deferred action program. USCIS indicates that 57,500 applications have been received from the Lone Star State through December 13. California leads them all, however, at just over 98,500. The Golden State also has the highest number of immigrants in the U.S. as well, according to statistics from the Immigration Policy Center.

Applying for the DACA is not without it's expense, however. The application alone costs $465, and it may take a considerable amount of time before immigrants are notified about whether they've been rejected or approved.

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