As November 6 draws close it appears many potential applicants for the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process are first waiting to see the outcome of the election before deciding whether or not to apply. Governor Romney’s staff have made it clear that, if he is elected, he would only honor grants of Deferred Action that were already made by the Department of Homeland Security prior to January 20, 2013, the date of his inauguration. Because of this, many eligible applicants fear that a Romney administration would commence removal proceedings against both them and their families upon his taking office. Faced with such a risk, it is understandable that recent statistics put the number of DACA applicants at just under 180,000.
On the other hand, the fact that a Romney administration would honor DACA grants made prior to his inauguration could be a strong motivation to apply as soon as possible. With current DACA application processing times being reported at around 60 days, applications filed in early November would stand a much greater chance of being approved prior to the January 20, 2013 inauguration date and could provide protection from any future anti-immigrant policies that might result from a Romney administration.
At the end of the day, whether or not to apply for DACA is a very personal choice and one that should not be taken without careful consideration.