Tim Vandenack
Tim Vandenack
In Indiana Buzz, reporter Tim Vandenack blogs on politics, immigration, elections, taxes, errant geese and more.

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6,000-plus Indiana DREAMers have sought lawful status under Obama program

Posted on Aug. 15, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 15, 2013 at 12:50 p.m.

Thursday Aug. 15, 2013

More than 6,000 young undocumented immigrants in Indiana have applied for lawful status in the United States under a year-old initiative of President Obama's administration. Most of the so-called DREAMers -- undocumented immigrants who came to the country as kids -- originally come from Mexico.

The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program released a report Wednesday (look here) highlighting data on applications under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The program grants eligible undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children work permits and lawful status for one-year renewable periods (here's more info).

Many in Elkhart County have applied under the DACA program (the Elkhart Truth did a series touching on the matter) and here are some figures for Indiana included in the Brookings report:

  • 6,041 DACA applications came from Indiana as of March 22, 2013.
  • Of those, 2,350 had been approved, a 38.9 percent approval rate.
  • 86.4 percent of the applications corresponded with people originally from Mexico, while 7.6 percent more came from people born in Central America and 2.3 percent came from South America.

[caption id="attachment_2912" align="alignleft" width="300"]Screen grab from Marquez's presentation. Marquez, in a screen grab from her WNIT presentation.[/caption]

I know of several in Elkhart County who have successfully applied under the program, including Dara Marquez, a young Elkhart woman who won a WNIT-TV talent contest with her spoken word presentation on immigration. I wrote about her in a blog Monday, look here.

Here's more from the Brookings report:

  • As of June 30, 2013, 557,412 in all had applied under the DACA program across the country. Of the 537,662 subsequently accepted for review, 74.5 percent were approved, 1 percent were denied and 24.5 percent were still under review.
  • Nationwide, 74.9 percent of the applications came from people originally from Mexico. Another 10 percent came from applicants originally from Central America and 6.9 percent came from people from South America.
  • More than one-third of all applicants were ages 15 to 18 when they applied, three-fourths have lived in the United States for at least 10 years and nearly one-third were 5-years-old or younger when they came here.

Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper in Elkhart, Ind., www.etruth.com. Reach him at tvandenack@etruth.com or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.


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