The administration has approved 99.5 percent of applications of those who have applied for legal status under President Obama’s nondeportation policy for young adults, granting legal status to more than 250,000 formerly illegal immigrants.
Officials said they expect the approval rate to drop as more cases make their way through the system, as it takes longer to deny an application than to approve it. Indeed, the approval rate already has dropped from 99.8 percent just a month ago.
But the high rate leaves others wondering whether the administration is doing all it can to weed out fraud or potentially dangerous illegal immigrants in DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as it’s formally known.
“You really have to wonder who they’re giving deferred action to, and what kind of risk they represent to us,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “The screening process is much less for DACA than it would be for a green card, and so it’s all that much more susceptible to fraud.”
DACA is seen by many as a test-run should Congress pass a broad legalization for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.