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Now Is the Best Time to Apply for DACA

The time to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is now. When President Obama began the DACA program two years ago, long delays by the Department of Homeland Security in deciding applications led many people who were eligible not to apply. It was not unusual for the first batch of DACA-filers to wait half-a-year to find out if they were approved.

Well, those days are over. This year, Homeland Security is deciding cases faster than they are receiving them and wait times for decisions are down dramatically over 2012.

The decisions we are getting now are pretty good ones, too. Fewer than 4% of applications have been denied. The 96.5% approval rate for DACA makes this one of the most successful immigration programs in history.

What we know now is that if you qualify for DACA and you file a reasonably complete application, you are likely to be granted, and granted soon. This may not always be the case. A new immigration program may begin in the fall. This could result in Homeland Security being swamped with new applications. If this happens, delays may set in for the DACA program as resources are directed elsewhere.

Applying for DACA now may save you many months of waiting later.

Pat Young, Esq. is an attorney at CARECEN in Hempstead.


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