Around 200,000 undocumented immigrants have applied for deferred action since President Obama announced his new immigration policy in June. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the announcement to a panel of educators on the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council.
According to The Hill, Napolitano also described the astounding rate at which applications were being received. She said that more than 3,000 young people are applying for deferred action every day.
Many of the panel members praised the program, which allows immigrants who have been in the United States for five years and are in or graduated from school a chance to defer their deportation for two years.
Napolitano also told the group she thinks the surge of applications is far from over.
“I suspect that we may see a bulge of applications after the New Year when there’s either this administration or a new administration and when the policies are going to be become more clear,” Napolitano told the group.
Another factor that may be contributing to the continuing number of applicants is the increasing transparency of the process. Napolitano explained that the Department of Homeland Security has been continuously updating its website with answers to commonly asked questions that come up for applicants during the process.
Each application typically takes around four months to review and process.
Mitt Romney has said that as president he would honor any work permits issued as part of the deferred action program, but would not continue to accept applications.
There are an estimated 11.5 million undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the United States.