Immigration experts thought that once Barack Obama was re-elected as US President for a second term that would result in a surge of applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals. According to a new report from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, however, the number of applicants has, in fact, gone down – an article in the Washington Post by Tara Bahrampour claims.
USCIS received over 5,700 applications every day three months ago back in September, but as of last month that figure had fallen to just 4,500 per day. Although some experts think that now that Obama has been re-elected, potential applicants may be waiting to see if he is able to enact comprehensive immigration reform during his second term, others think that one of the key reasons why people apply is activism.
“I think the first wave of people we helped were really activists,” says the Casa de Maryland and Ayuda immigrant advocacy group’s director of human health and services, George Escobar. “They weren’t afraid to come out and defend their right to be in this country.”
Given that there is no deadline for deferred action applications at the present time, people who are interested may not feel pressured to apply straight away and could be waiting to see how the debate over comprehensive immigration reform plays out. Despite the uncertainty, however, around 309,000 people have already submitted applications since the beginning of the deferred action program four months ago back in August, with 53,000 already approved.