CMS Reports DAPA and DACA Populations Part of American Society

A report released today by the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) offers a statistical portrait of the potential beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, the original Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program implemented in 2012 (“original DACA”), and the expanded DACA program announced in 2014 (“DACA-plus”). The report illustrates the degree to which these populations have become embedded in US society, finding that the great majority of DAPA and DACA recipients enjoy strong family ties, long tenure, and high employment rates in the United States.

Major findings in the report include:

Of the DAPA-eligible

  • 89% are parents of US citizens only
  • 7% have lawful permanent resident children only
  • 4% have both US citizen and lawful permanent resident children
  • 20% are married to a US citizen or legal non-citizen

DAPA and DACA recipients who have lived in the US for 10 years or more

  • DAPA: 81%
  • Original DACA: 85%
  • DACA-plus: 72%

DAPA and DACA recipients in the labor force that are employed

  • DAPA: 94%
  • Original DACA: 89%
  • DACA-plus: 90%

DAPA and DACA recipients who have at least a high school degree

  • DAPA: 47%
  • Original DACA: 93%
  • DACA-plus: 95%

DAPA and DACA recipients who speak English well, very well or exclusively

  • DAPA: 49%
  • Original DACA: 91%
  • DACA-plus: 83%

DAPA and DACA recipients with access to a computer and internet

  • DAPA: 68%
  • Original DACA: 74%
  • DACA-plus: 73%

CMS derived its estimates on the DAPA- and DACA-eligible from statistics on the foreign-born population collected in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). It first derived detailed estimates for all undocumented residents, and then used the characteristics of this population (e.g., year of entry, age at entry, etc.) to tabulate the numbers who would be eligible for DAPA and DACA in 2014, which is the most recent year available.

H1B Fireworks at GOP Debates


At the Republican debate last week, both Rubio and Trump weighed in on the Disney H1B issue. IDisney let go tech of some workers, replaced the unit with an outsourcing company, and that company brought in H1B workers who the original (USC) workers were asked to train.

Marco Rubio called it illegal.

“If there’s an American working at Disney, and they bring in someone with an H-1B visa to replace their direct job, that is a violation of the law”, Rubio said.

Donald Trump said that he shouldn’t have been allowed to use the H-1B program the way he has.

“I’m a businessman and I have to do what I have to do, but it’s sitting there for you to use”, said Trump. “But it’s very bad”

Republicans and Democrats in Florida will have a chance to vote for their preferred presidential candidate on Tuesday.

Fatal Neglect: Report on Deaths in Immigration Detention


The American Civil Liberties Union, National Immigrant Justice Center, and Detention Watch Network have issued a report, “Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention.

The report emphasizes that “there have been 56 deaths in ICE custody during the Obama administration, including six suicides and at least one death after an attempted suicide.”  This particular report “focuses on the eight deaths where ODO [ICE’s Office of Detention Oversight] identified noncompliance with ICE medical standards as contributing causes; the ODO identified four of these deaths as preventable.”  The report goes on to explain that “this focus should not excuse several other cases in which ODO identified similar violations of ICE medical standards without drawing causal links between these violations and the deaths,” and asserts that the “process is broken; even in the eight cases where ODO death reviews concluded that violations of ICE medical standards contributed to people’s deaths, ICE’s deficient inspections system essentially swept those findings under the rug.”

The key recommendations are as follows:

  • Immediately reduce immigration detention,
  • Improve the delivery of medical care in detention,
  • Ensure inspections provide meaningful oversight, and
  • Increase transparency of inspections, deaths, and serious medical incidents in detention.

Congress to Pass DREAM Act Before Nov. Elections?

As November elections neared in 2010, the Democratic supporters of the immigration reform bill known as the Dream Act kicked into high gear, pushing it toward an eventual vote in the House and Senate that December. The bill proposed conditional legal status for qualifying young people who arrived in the U.S. under age 16, provided they go to college or join the military.

DREAM Act didn’t go anywhere in 2010, but as November nears and both major parties fight for Latino votes, expect the Democratic-backed bill to figure prominently again, along with a few stripped-down mutations as Republican lawmakers formulate alternative proposals.

Read Leslie Berestein Rojas’ analysis of the tantalizing possibilities. Is there a chance (finally) for the DREAMERs? It has been a long trek.


Credit: Video Production by Kristian Tungol at Tungol Designs.

Internships and Leadership Development for DREAMers

(New York, NY) This week, the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) and the Fund for Public Advocacy released the DREAM Fellowship Program application, as part of a new initiative that will provide 10 exceptional undocumented students with CUNY scholarships of $2000 each and the opportunity to participate in an internship and leadership development program.  Internships will be with organizations that educate and empower immigrant families across New York City.

As advocates continue to push for passage of the federal DREAM Act, programs such as the DREAM Fellowship Program will, in the meantime, provide a group of exceptional DREAMers the chance to pursue a college education, gain valuable leadership-building experience, and participate in efforts to improve the quality of life for New York’s immigrant communities.

Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the NYIC said, “We are proud to be moving forward with the DREAM Fellowship Program, and are grateful to the Fund for Public Advocacy for raising the scholarship dollars. We look forward to working with the DREAM fellows, and taking this important step to expand educational opportunities for all our young people, regardless of status. The fight for the federal DREAM Act continues, but in the meantime, the DREAM Fellowship program can help young people fulfill their potential.”

Reshma Saujani, executive director of the Fund for Public Advocacy, said, “The Dream Fellowship is one of the cornerstone projects of the Fund for Public Advocacy this year. I cannot say how proud we are to be able to help ten students who are exemplars of self-determination. Although they face extreme adversity in their mission to attain a higher education, they study hard and work harder to ensure that their dreams become realities. This fellowship program extends ten exceptional students the opportunity to learn about community organizing, as well as a one semester scholarship. We are honored to help them on their journey.”

For more information click here 


The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

The NYIC in partnership with the Fund for Public Advocacy is launching its first ever “Dream Fellowship”—a semester long internship and scholarship program that will place DREAM Act-eligible students with community organizations that work to improve the lives of immigrant youth and their families. Students will also have the opportunity to attend a supplemental training program that will provide them with invaluable skills and knowledge to advocate on behalf of immigrant communities. Selected students will demonstrate excellence beyond academic achievement; they will be students who have a proven track record of leadership and community service who want to deepen their skills while continuing their education.

The NYIC will award ten exceptional City University of New York students a $2000 scholarship based on acceptance to the fellowship.

In order to qualify, students must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be full time or part time CUNY students at the time of application with at least one semester of undergraduate studies remaining during the 2012 Spring semester;
  • Have a proven interest in building community organizing skills and be able to commit 7 hours per week during the 2012 academic Spring semester;
  • Have a proven track record of leadership and service in either academic and community settings;
  • Be eligible under current version of the federal DREAM act.
  • Demonstrated financial need

All interested, qualified students are encouraged to apply for the scholarship. A completed application, two current letters of recommendation, and a current unofficial transcript must be submitted by December 15, 2011 to ‘DREAM Fellowship’ at the The New York Immigration Coalition, 137-139 West 25th St, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Students may also submit their applications to

To apply for the scholarship, please see attached application or click HERE

DEADLINE for accepting applications: Friday, December 16th, 2011

Incomplete or late application packets will not be considered. No phone calls please.

“Anchor Baby” Added to New American Heritage Dictionary

The degree to which the immigration debate has coarsened over the last few years is no more evident than in the pages of the recently released fifth edition of the New American Heritage Dictionary. Among the new entries is the term “anchor baby.” You might think that the definition would read something like: slang, a pejorative description of a child born in the United States to parents without legal status, implying that the parents intend to leverage the child’s citizenship to “anchor” their own presence in the U.S.” You would be wrong.  Click here for Immigration Impact’s analysis.

USCIS Chastised for Lack of Timeliness on FOIA Requests

An important Case relating to the Freedom of Information Act:

A federal district court in San Jose, CA has determined that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) engaged in a longstanding pattern and practice of violating FOIA’s time-limit provisions and prejudiced immigration attorneys’ abilities to fairly represent their clients before the government.  In a ruling on October 13, the Court granted plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief requiring USCIS to provide a copy of a requestor’s file within the twenty day time limit mandated by FOIA and give written notice if a ten day  extension of time is needed due to “unusual circumstances”.  The Court also determined that the government had a history of violating FOIA dating back to a previous FOIA lawsuit filed in 1985.  That lawsuit ended in 1992 with a Settlement Agreement  which provided for the establishment of a national policy on priority processing for FOIA requests.  It included a provision for expedited processing of FOIA requests where the failure to process a request immediately would impair “substantial due process rights of the requestor”.  The Court found that the two Plaintiffs could seek to enforce the Settlement Agreement. The case is now online at Hajro v. USCIS, 2011 WL 4854021.

Asian American Population Growth

From the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice:

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to announce the release today of a ground-breaking new demographic report, A Community of Contrasts: Asian Americans in the United States, 2011, co-authored by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian American Justice Center, members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. This is the first in a series of demographic reports to be released on the state of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over the next few years.

With the 2012 elections upon us, Community of Contrasts comes at a most opportune time.  The Asian American community has grown faster than any other racial group over the past decade: More than 46 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report’s analysis of Census data.  That means more Asian Americans then ever before are poised to influence next year’s presidential election, and we are ready to speak up and voice the issues that matter most to us.  At the same time, our community needs citizenship assistance, voter registration and Get Out the Vote programs to ensure we reach our full potential.

Our population is also dispersing throughout the U.S.  Texas now has more Asian Americans than Hawaii and a third of the states now have Asian populations greater than 225,000.

The report also found significant social and economic diversity among Asian American ethnic groups, with some enjoying prosperity and others experiencing hardship. For example, while Asian Americans have made considerable contributions to the U.S. economy over the past decade (e.g., Asian American businesses issued more than $80 billion in payroll), other data shows that certain ethnic groups like Hmong, Bangladeshi and Cambodian Americans are among the country’s poorest (e.g., nearly one in four Hmong Americans live below the poverty line).  Limited fluency in English remains a significant barrier for many.

Copies of the report are available online at

Stephen Colbert Sticks Up for Illegal Immigrants

Watch Stephen Colbert’s incisive commentary on Alabama’s immigration law and a farmworker shortage.

From LA Times:

Stephen Colbert would really like to solve the country’s immigration problem, if only to ensure a steady supply of tomatoes for his BLTs.

As he lamented on last night’s “Colbert Report,” “Our country’s tomato industry is plum screwed.” Alabama recently enacted the toughest immigration laws in the country, and, as a result, migrant workers have left the state in droves. Colbert joked that “Hispanic farm workers have fled Alabama, stealing yet another thing Americans would like to do.”

The mass exodus has left many farmers in the state without enough laborers to harvest their crops, and Americans are hardly lining up to fill the vacancies. One frustrated Alabamian farmer claimed, “They’re not as hard workers as the Hispanics.”

Read more here.

Woman Turned Over to Immigration after Domestic Violence Incident

Elena Cabrera, seated, says she was turned over to immigration authorities after she called Escondido police to report a domestic violence matter. Her daughter, Tayana Zarate, 17, was left alone to care for herself and her three younger siblings. EDWARD SIFUENTES |

Edward Sifuentes of the North County Times writes:

“A woman who called the Escondido Police Department to report that she was beaten by her boyfriend was herself arrested and later turned over to immigration authorities after she was booked at the Vista jail, a case that critics say illustrates the problems inherent in local police getting involved in immigration enforcement.”

Unfortunately, this kind of thing occurs all too often. See here and here.

Local police involvement with federal immigration enforcement makes it more difficult for police to gain the trust and cooperation of immigrants who live in our communityies. They are less likely to report crime or serve as witnesses at trial. That is why some local police chiefs are frustrated with local involvement in immigration enforcement — it makes the job of local law enforcement in fighting crime and maintaining public safety more difficult.

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