Questions from "Ask the Secretary":
1. What is the next step for the individuals that applied under DACA? 2. Will Deferred Status automatically be extended? 3. Was DACA used so that Congress would have time to pass some sort of Dream Act?
Janie Bennett: Hello Secretary Napolitano my name is Janie Bennett.I'm a Supervisory Detention and Deportation Officer in the San Antonio AOR. My question is, 1. What is the next step for the individuals that applied under DACA, once the initial two years has expired? 2. Will Deferred Status automatically be extended? And 3. Was DACA used so that Congress would have time to pass some sort of Dream Act? Thank you.
Secretary Napolitano: Well thank you, Janie, and first, let me begin by saying that the institution of Deferred Action for young people who were brought to this country typically by parents or other family members but who have basically grown up in United States and the ability to grant them Deferred Action with work authorization in appropriate cases has been a major success. We've had over 250,000 applications,50,000 have been granted, the rest are in some sort of adjudication process. In particular USCIS deserves a shout-out for the work done on Deferred Action. It is for two years subject to renewal, and that's how we describe it, an individual adjudication subject to renewal. But the other important thing is that it is time for Congress to address immigration reform at large. From how we handle criminal penalties for employers who consistently and intentionally break the law, to how some of the visa requirements, and the numbers, how they are calculated to how we deal with temporary workers and the need for those in the US economy. Those are all things that the Congress should address. So I am hopeful even as we continue to prioritize enforcement -- and ICE deserves a lot of credit here.You're taking more felons and criminals off the streets than ever before and I'm proud of that. Even as we continue to prioritize the high-priority individuals and set aside some that are low-risk, low-priority like the young childhood arrivals, we still need overall immigration reform.