On June 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that certain young people who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines may be eligible, on a case-by-case basis, to receive deferred action. The new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals process allows certain young people who were brought to the United States as children, and who meet specific guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Catholic Charities of Dallas is leading the country in assisting those who wish to apply, having helped over 1,200 people process DACA applications since September 2012.
According to Vanna Slaughter, Director of Immigration and Legal Services of Catholic Charities of Dallas, 1,252 applications have been processed in Dallas since the program began accepting applications on September 5th. In addition, over 900 applicants are working with Catholic Charities of Dallas to complete the paperwork required for their application to be processed.
Catholic Charities of Dallas has implemented a process to help the complicated process of submitting a DACA application to flow as simply and as quickly as possible. A web-based case management system allows Catholic Charities of Dallas to gather needed information about each applicant before they walk in the door for their application consultation. In addition, the Catholic Charities website contains electronic versions of the forms needed to submit the DACA application. Once all the needed documentation and application fees have been obtained, a Catholic Charities caseworker meets with an applicant to process the application. An attorney from Catholic Charities then gives the application a thorough legal review, and an administrative team makes the necessary copies of the application and mails the application to the proper agency.
The team at Catholic Charities has received over 100 approvals for applicants since the first applications were submitted in September.