DACA approval pending for more than 6 months
We have now reached a point that some DREAMers who applied in August 2012 when the DACA program was first launched are still waiting for approval. It must be pointed out that the average approval time ranges from one to three months. I have already highlighted why DACA approval maybe taking too long for some applicants, but this is the right time to revisit the issue. The main reason some of the DREAMers are getting impatient with the approval process is that so many of their peers were approved so quickly. The reason some of the approvals came so quickly is that President Obama made the process really simple and ignored all fraudulent activities, like working with fake papers. So if you are one of those unfortunate victims of delay by the USCIS, you may want to think of the following:
- Delays of this nature are fairly routine at the USCIS. In almost all visa categories, there are some cases that take a lot longer even though the applicant may believe that his or her case is so straightforward.
- The immigration process is only managed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or more specifically United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), but there are several other government and non-government (including private; yes, your tamper proof green cards and EAD cards are manufactured by private contractors) agencies involved. So for instance, to do a background check, the file will be passed on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and till the file comes back, nothing will happen (though there are some mechanisms built in for following up after some time has passed). If the FBI comes up with a question about your background and forwards a query to a local police department or judicial office, that could take weeks or months. In the meantime if USCIS prods the FBI, they can simply respond that they are awaiting some data from a field office or AnyTown police department (remember that police departments in towns and cities are independent and do not get paid by the FBI for providing such information; many of them are operating under tight budgets or part-time staff and they really have no incentive to move fast to find information on an illegal immigrant who was given a citation for driving without a license or beating up his friend).
- You have not told the whole truth in your application. It is very tempting to think that you can hide information from the USCIS because you wonder if they can really find something or you have heard stories of how some immigrant literally got away with murder and is now a citizen, but it is also a fact that a large number of applicants are caught if they fail to provide complete details. And nothing ticks off a government agent than a liar.
- You may not know the whole truth yourself. Many DREAMers are not fully aware of how they actually came to the United States, what laws their parents and family members broke, and how some of the details are missing. It is particularly tricky if the parents are dead and the secrets were buried with them.
- Indeed, it is true that the Obama Administration is deliberately ignoring unlawful employment and identity theft, but it does not mean that the officers are ignoring all criminal actions. So you may have not thought too much about lying or using forged documents or failing to follow the law -- everyone does it, you argued -- but it would be a problem for a Federal agent to ignore your actions which are clearly crimes under current law. Such applications will be scrutinized more closely and while you maybe wondering that it is just a processing delay, do not be surprised that the Feds are building a case for your arrest and deportation.