Washington, D.C. -It has been less than months since young immigrants, or Dreamers, were able to apply for deferred action to prevent deportation. And now some of those applicants will hear whether they will be able to stay in the country.
This week, the Department of Homeland Security will begin sending out notifications to a small group of people who are eligible to receive temporary work visas and delay deportation by two years.
As any immigration attorney knows getting any sort of decision on any type of immigration application can take months so the speed at which these applications are being processed is surprising. According to internal documents obtained by the Associated Press, close to 72,000 people applied for deferred action since the DHS began taking applications on August 15th.
In a statement Tuesday, DHS spokesman Peter Boogaard said, “Following a thorough, individualized case review, USCIS has now begun notifying individuals of the determination on their deferral requests.”
The DHS said there are conducting background checks and fingerprinting on each of the applicants before they can be approved, a process that typically takes four to six months.
Though the program was praised by pro-immigrant groups and activists, it has been heavily criticized by conservatives as back-door amnesty.
It should be noted that deferred action isn’t a pathway to citizenship; instead it gives the young people eligible for the program at least two years to pursue a legal presence.