National Immigration Law Center
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Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

DACA's First Six Months


DECEMBER 17, 2012

The First Six Months of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

What We've Learned

From August 15 to December 13 of this year, 367,903 individuals have applied for DACA and 102,965 have been approved. Mexico, South Korea, and the Philippines are among the top ten countries of origin.

What we've done

NILC has trained over 250 people to volunteer at DACA clinics and answer questions about DACA; educated over 5,800 people about DACA through community forums, presentations, and webinars; and provided free review of DACA applications at 27 legal clinics. 

We've also created these educational materials

  • A helpful FAQ on the DACA program (in Spanish and English).
  • A FAQ on workplace rights for those applying for and granted DACA.
  • A FAQ on the exclusion of DACA grantees from health care.
  • An overview of state requirements for obtaining driver’s licenses.

We've also taken steps to ensure that DACA grantees are treated fairly

Over the last six months, we've...Photo of demonstrators holding an "Immigration Reform Now!" banner

  • Filed a lawsuit with other civil rights organizations to challenge Arizona’s unconstitutional policy denying driver’s licenses to individuals who are granted DACA.
  • Led advocacy efforts to oppose the exclusion of DACA grantees from affordable health care, including submitting comments, along with more than 300 organizations opposing the exclusion.
  • Together with United We Dream and other partners, led advocacy efforts to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from DACA.

What comes next

DACA is only a first step in recognizing the contributions of immigrant communities. In order to ensure that all immigrant communities are treated fairly and with justice, we must have a roadmap to first-class citizenship for all 11 million Americans without papers, an end to draconian detention and deportation policies that separate families and divide communities, and an opportunity for all those living in the United States to fulfill their dreams.