By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released a written statement following a release by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of important details about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process.
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released a report,’ Who and Where the DREAMers Are: A Demographic Profile of Immigrants Who Might Benefit from the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action’ in which it estimates that 936,930 youth between the ages of 15 and 30 could immediately qualify for the conditional illegal alien amnesty initiative ordered by President Barack H. Obama.
The IPC said in their written release, “Because potential applicants reside in all states and every congressional district, today’s announcement clarifying the application process sets the stage for an intense period of preparation around the country, as communities wait for the request form to be released on August 15. The DACA program is designed for young people who are under the age of 31; entered the United States before age 16; have resided in the country for at least five years as of June 15, 2012; have not been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor, or three other misdemeanors; and are currently in school, graduated from high school, earned a GED, or served in the military.”
According to the IPC the key points shared by USCIS: include a new form will be available on August 15. All DACA requests will require payment of $85. “Persons who wish to receive work authorization must pay, with limited exemptions, the current employment authorization document fee of $365.”
The information provided on the form will be kept confidential. This includes information relating to applicants’ family members or legal guardians. The information will not be used for immigration enforcement. However if the applicant themselves meet the current USCIS criteria for referral to Immigration and Customs Enforcement or issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court the information could (under those circumstances) be used against the applicant.
Crimes that could disqualify the applicant you for receiving DACA or the work permit include burglary, domestic violence, sexual abuse or exploitation, unlawful possession of firearms, driving under the influence, or drug distribution or trafficking. Also any crimes where the applicant’s sentence was for more than 90 days in jail, not including suspended sentences and time held pursuant to immigration detention.
Minor traffic offenses and convictions for immigration related offenses like Alabama’s controversial HB 56 or Arizona’s SB 1070 will not be considered as grounds for disqualification of an applicant’s amnesty or visa. Whether the state makes immigration crimes a felony or a misdemeanor is irrelevant according to USCIS rules.
According to the IPC most of the potential beneficiaries of deferred action live in California and Texas. Many also reside in North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, and Washington State. The IPC says that nearly every state has a significant population of qualified applicants. The IPC says that almost 70% of potential beneficiaries are from Mexico. There are also significant populations from Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
The IPC said that, “Knowing who the potential beneficiaries are and where they live will be critical as USCIS initiates this new program. Using this data, USCIS, as well as advocates offering assistance, can locate pockets of potential beneficiaries who may be living in geographic areas that are underserved or who may require information in languages that were unanticipated.”
Critics of the plan argue that the Constitution gives the President no authority to unilaterally rewrite immigration laws set by the Congress and reward illegal immigrant communities with legal status and visas. Whether or not it is legal, some polls show the President leading his GOP rival by as much as 30% among Hispanic voters. President Obama’s supporters credit the President’s bold unilateral immigration policy with his popularity among Latino voters. Critics say that the President’s policy serves as a magnet for illegal immigrants and worsens an already poor U.S. labor market.