On August 15, 2012, USCIS implemented President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program designed to allow qualifying applicants the right to live and work in the United States without the fear of deportation.
News of the program was met with hope, relief, and an understandable amount of distrust as hundreds of thousands of undocumented childhood arrivals, young adults who have lived most of their lives in fear and calculated anonymity, were suddenly being encouraged to step forward and present themselves to the very institutions they have been taught to avoid.
As immigration attorneys, we have the difficult task of convincing our clients that this program is real and worth the risk. Today, we are happy to report that we have received our first Deferred Action approval. This approval is believed to be the first in Washington State, and one of the first 30 in the United States.
We are so proud to say that we were among the first to have an application approved. But we are more pleased to know that at least one human being can finally step out of the shadows that loom so ominously over those who work and live here in the U.S. without status, and face the day without the shackles of fear.
Deferred Action is a great opportunity for qualifying applicants, but it is in no way complete. Hopefully in some small way, this approval and the many more to come will serve as a stepping-stone towards a more permanent solution to our ailing immigration policy.