The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, created by President Obama in June of 2012 is designed to stay the deportations of undocumented immigrants in the United States by offering two-year visas. To qualify, immigrants must have been brought to the United States illegally as children and currently be under the age of 30. In addition, they must have graduated high school or earned a GED, be in school, or be military veterans. There is also a $465 application fee. Applicants with serious convictions or at least three misdemeanors will not qualify. According to the Immigration Policy Center, 950,000 people in the United States qualify.
Although this program has helped hundreds of thousands of young people living in the United States access greater freedom, opportunity, and mobility, it is not a permanent solution. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program only exists at the president’s discretion and there is no guarantee it will survive past this current administration. In the national legislature, a federal solution passed on the Senate floor in June of 2013 and is currently stalled in the House of Representatives. This would double the size of Boarder Patrol and enhance surveillance technology on the border with Mexico, but it would also provide a path to citizenship for roughly 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States.
Since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program went into effect over a year and a half ago, more than 565,000 undocumented immigrants in the country have received two-year visas. At the same time, on the state level, many states have granted access to driver’s licenses and in-state college tuition for people in this age group.
Source: Krogstad, Jens Manuel. “Temporary visa opens up world for young immigrant,” USA Today. September 24th, 2013. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/24/temporary-visa-opportunities-young-immigrant/2859321/