To date, 154,404 young undocumented immigrants have been approved for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama administration program active since August. The program gives DREAMers permission to live and work legally in the U.S.
The latest figures, released today by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) show that even as more people are processed and approved for the deferred action, the rate of applications has slowed.
In August, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that 1.7 million undocumented immigrants might eventually be eligible for the program, either immediately or in the future. Of those 1.7 million, Pew reported that 950,000 people might be eligible immediately, with others being too young to qualify or not yet in possession of a high school diploma or a GED.
So far, 407,899 people have applied, less than half of the number thought to be eligible. A slowdown in applications began in November and has steadily declined through the winter months.