DREAMers betting on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

From the USCIS monthly report on DACA statistics released in January 2013 covering the period up to January 17, it is clear that DREAMers have given up on DACA.  During the 30 day period a meager 16,500 DREAMers -- a record low for the program -- applied for deferred action for childhood arrivals and a work permit for the right to work legally for two years.  Obviously, most of the serious candidates applied as soon as the program was announced by President Obama and the expected surge after his reelection never came

Fewer DREAMers than estimated or many more with criminal histories:   It must also be pointed out that either the advocates of undocumented aliens got it so wrong in their estimates (compared to their projections of an estimated 1.2 to 1.7 millions, less than 400,000 individuals have applied) or they underestimated the criminal backgrounds of DREAMers (I still have a hard time believing that they don't have the money to pay the $465 fee because if they don't have this much money they should not even be fighting for an amnesty because legalizing under any amnesty will cost at least $10,000 in fees, back taxes, penalties, etc.).



DREAMers in wait-and-see mode:    It is also likely that many illegal immigrants are watching if Comprehensive Immigration Reform passes through Congress because for the time being at least the chatter is very loud.  Politicians on both sides are positioning themselves for the 2014 mid-term elections and some on the GOP side are preparing for their presidential ambitions in 2016 by sounding more conciliatory towards unauthorized immigrants.  Despite all this, it is impossible to get much done in Washington.  Like many other experts, I fear that the Democratic strategy of getting everything done in one bill may sink it because if Republicans do not like some aspects they will kill the whole bill, thus, denying DREAMers a shot at DREAM Act.