Few DACA-eligible undocumented Pinoys apply, study finds

SAN FRANCISCO – Of the estimated 20,000 undocumented Filipinos who are DACA eligible, there are few who are taking advantage of the program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Sally Kinoshita of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center said, “Of those who are eligible however on the national level only 4,818 Filipinos have applied for DACA, that means only about 25% of Filipinos that are eligible for DACA have actually submitted an application at this point.”

In an immigration forum sponsored by New America Media, immigrant advocates says DACA can really benefit people especially during a time of mass deportations.

“One of things that we know is that immigration enforcement is increasing,” said Kinoshita. “More people have are being deported now than any time in US history and that’s another critical benefit of DACA. It does provide the individual at least two years of protection from deportation meaning even if you are stopped by ICE or encounter immigration you have protection.”

The application for DACA is $465; however, financial help is available for eligible applicants living in San Francisco.

The City and County of San Francisco is offering a 50% scholarship and the other half will be provided by a loan from www.lendingcircles.org.

These immigration advocates remind the undocumented community to remain hopeful and take advantage of DACA to prove to the U.S. government that they have been productive members of society.

Amanda Alvarado Ford of La Raza Centro Legal said, “We can hold on to documents that show our presence here in the United States. Why? Because if comprehensive immigration reform happens we want to be able to show we have been contributing in a positive way to our society here in California and in the nation.”

Immigration attorneys and advocates plan to bring more awareness of DACA to the Filipino community in California through partnerships with the Philippine consulate and state legislators.

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