Children of Illegal Immigrants Not Taking Advantage of DACA Program

Children of Illegal Immigrants Not Taking Advantage of DACA Program

Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

TEXAS- The Dreamers Program just recently passed its first anniversary. The Program allows hundreds of thousands of children from illegal immigrants to stay in the states.

But although the program is open to so many, only a little more than half have taken advantage of the program.

Deferred Action. It may as well mean 'Hold your horses, law enforcement'. Daniel Caudillo, an immigration attorney, explained.

"Deferred action is simply that. It's deferral of enforcement, of law enforcement. Instead of enforcing deportation, removal or anything like that the government decided to use their discretionary powers to not enforce that and to defer that," Caudillo said.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was enacted last year by President Obama. It allows children of illegal immigrants have a two year work permit. This allows young immigrants the ability to apply for social security or a drivers license. Most of these accepted applicants are known as dreamers.

Caudillo says only a little more than half of people who are eligible have applied.

"We expected easily 850,000 to a million applicants, nationwide. And up to this point, a year after it's implementation, just a little over 500,000 have applied," Caudillo said.

Caudillo says that applicants may be wary of a government that hasn't passed clear immigration reform. The president says he wants something passed this year. President Obama spoke about the issue Thursday.

"It doesn't make sense to have 11 million people, who are in this country illegally, without any incentive or any way for them to come out of the shadows," Obama said.

"A big part of that is just a fear from these applicants to go and apply for fear that this policy may be canceled, may be terminated and then they get put back into removal proceedings," Caudillo said.

The DACA program is for the children of illegal immigrants who have received an education and are under the age of 31. If you want to check out the application, go to the Department of Homeland Securities website. It's not immigration reform, just a temporary solution.