The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), a California-based immigrant rights organization, released preliminary findings of the Los Angeles Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) Survey it conducted with hundreds of prospective immigration relief applicants.
The Survey's initial findings lends support to recent economic and demographic studies that highlight the positive economic impact and contributions of future DAPA applicants to the local, state, and national economy:
‘«ů 73% are currently employed
‘«ů 78% of those who are currently employed have paid their taxes
The Survey, said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director, "portrays a community of hard-working individuals who pay their taxes and look forward to the chance to emerge from the shadows and contribute even more to their society."
The survey size was 800 persons and was completed by families and individuals attending a Los Angeles Convention Center Forum on Administrative Relief (AR) sponsored by CHIRLA this past December 14, 2014. Nearly 4,000 individuals and families participated in the three-hour forum. The Forum was one of the largest public information events to date on President Obama's Administrative Relief announcement of November 20, 2014.
Other findings include:
‘«ů The average year of entry to the United States was 1996 but 1/3 entered as early as 1980
‘«ů The average age of the participant was 40
‘«ů 63% are married, 37% either were divorced, single, or currently living with someone but not married
"The initial findings suggests a diverse and growing community that is strongly linked to our city's economic growth and has been consistently so for a decade if not more," said Luis Perez, CHIRLA Legal Services Director.
‘«ů 84% have at least one US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident children born before November 21, 2014
‘«ů 91% did not have a criminal record
‘«ů 91% did not have a deportation order
"We learned that not everyone who thinks qualifies for DAPA will qualify. Of those that do, the large majority does not have a deportation order or a criminal record. This means that ICE and CBP should be actively screening anyone they detain between now and the start of the program to ensure future beneficiaries of Administrative Relief or immigration reform are not deported unfairly," added Mr. Perez.
As to the delay in the program implementation, CHIRLA remains convinced politics in getting in the way of a good national policy.
"There's no reason why the courts, anti-immigrants, or politics should keep America from benefiting from this humane, constitutional, and much needed policy decision," added. Ms. Salas.
Ms. Salas warned potential DAPA applicants that they could be targeted by unscrupulous persons who prey on the emotional and legal immigration needs of our community. "Before you give your money away to someone, make sure you know you are getting a real benefit out of it. If in doubt, consult a local immigration services community organization or an immigration attorney of good repute," said Ms. Salas.
CHIRLA conducts free public orientations on DACA, DAPA, and AB60 driver's license, at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. To sign up, please contact (213) 353-1333.