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“This is Only the Beginning:” 82,361 Deferred Actions Requests From Immigrant Youth Accepted For Processing

by Van Le on 09/14/2012 at 5:14pm

It’s been a month since President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals program began, and the numbers are coming in: 

Here’s the United We DREAM statement praising the development:

Deferred Action for DREAMers is Working

Undocumented Youth Say: “This is Only the Beginning.”

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency today released data about the new “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program announced by President Obama earlier this year. The program will enable over a million DREAMers to live without the fear of deportation and permit us new Americans the opportunity to work and fully utilize our education and talents to contribute to the country we consider home.

“We are very excited to see these numbers – they are higher than we expected and show that DREAMers are fired up and ready to go,” said Evelyn Rivera, a National Coordinator of the United We Dream Network (UWD). “DREAMers have organized for years to win this victory and are now organizing to make deferred action a success.”

According to USCIS, 82,000 DREAMers have completed their applications and so far, 66,000 have been scheduled for their fingerprinting appointments and 29 29 people have been notified they have been approved for DACA.

The process is well on its way and DREAMers are spreading the word. Maria Fernanda Cabello, Civic Engagement Project Coordinator for UWD mailed her application documents on August 15th and yesterday posted on her Facebook, “Just had my biometrics appointment! The whole process took less than 15 minutes (: Now to wait for the next USCIS letter.”

The United We Dream Network has held over 50 application clinics across the country since the program began on August 15 and we and our partners are holding more each week. Through these clinics and webinars, UWD has directly worked with 8000 DREAMers. On September 22, United We Dream will hold the next application clinics, many of which are already booked. Undocumented youth leaders are innovating and developing best practices to make future clinics more efficient, find ways to reach more DREAMers and working with the government and allies to streamline the process even more.

Lorella Praeli, Policy Coordinator for United We Dream said, “United We Dream leaders are communicating directly to USCIS about what we’re learning at our application clinics and are pleased to see that the new Frequently Asked Questions document released today clarifies several issues that we have brought to their attention.”

In addition to the in-person application clinics, the United We Dream Network has partnered with legal service organizations and other allies to create two online portals for DREAMers to find accurate information and where they can conduct a free online assessment: WeOwnTheDream.org (English) and UneteAlSueno.org (Spanish). UWD is also building a text message network to keep the community of DREAMers connected which can be accessed by texting “OwnIt” (English) or “Unete” (Spanish) to 877877.

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