Almost 10,000 Washington residents have applied for the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program since August, according to state-by-state numbers released for the first time Friday by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Of those applicants, 5,653 state residents have been approved for the program, which was created last summer by President Barack Obama to defer the deportation of young undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria.
Once an application is approved, deportation actions against a foreign-born undocumented resident is deferred for at least two years and makes an individual eligible for legal employment.
Washington ranks 11th nationally in terms of applications for the program.
The numbers, released Friday, don’t break down how many applications were rejected or remain under review, San Francisco-based spokeswoman Sharon Rummery said in a telephone interview.
Nor do the numbers indicate what part of the state is sending the most applications.
Oregon had 6,661 undocumented residents apply through March 31, with 4,271 applicants being approved for the program. Almost 2,000 applications were made in Idaho, with 1,153 being approved. Only 24 applications were accepted from Montana, eight of which were approved.
California had the most applicants, 134,167, of which 73,104 have been approved to date.
About 3,045 applications are received daily by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. To date, the department has received 488,782 applications and has so far accepted 268,361.
The vast majority of applications (354,002) have come from immigrants from Mexico, but include nations as far away as South Korea (7,030) and India (2,698).
Eligibility is determined through various criteria, including being enrolled in school or having graduated or received a general education development certificate, or an honorable discharge from the Coast Guard or U.S. Armed Forces.
An applicant must have been younger than 31 as of June 15, 2012, and arrived in the United States prior to age 16. Applicants must have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, and have never been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor.