Nearly 4,600 DREAMers Approved for Deferred Action

The latest numbers from Homeland Security.

ByABC News
October 12, 2012, 5:00 PM

Oct. 12, 2012— -- Nearly 4,600 young undocumented immigrants have been granted temporary permission to live and work in the United States, according to statistics released today from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Just under 180,000 requests have been accepted for processing through the program, which halts deportations for qualifying DREAMers and allows them to apply for work permits. The statistics run from the start of the program on August 15 until October 10.

The newest numbers show a sharp jump in acceptances since the first round of statistics were released last month. During the first month, only 29 requests were approved, with more than 82,000 DREAMers accepted for processing.

An estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants nationwide could potentially be eligible for the program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Peter Boogaard, a spokesman for U.S. Department of Homeland Security, released a statement regarding the latest numbers:

Following a 60-day implementation period, on August 15 USCIS initiated the process for individuals to request deferred action for childhood arrivals and began receiving requests and supporting documentation from the public. On September 12, USCIS began issuing its first decisions on deferred action for childhood arrivals requests based on a thorough case-by-case review.

USCIS will review deferred action for childhood arrivals requests for a possible exercise of prosecutorial discretion, consistent with its longstanding quality control procedures and commitment to upholding the integrity of the immigration system. Biometric and biographic information collection and background checks must be completed before a request will be reviewed by an USCIS official.

Although USCIS has begun notifying some individuals of a decision on their request, it is expected that the average length of time to process a request will be between four and six months. As this process is in its initial stages, USCIS will continue to provide regular updates on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process on a monthly basis.