A month after President Obama’s unilateral amnesty policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) took effect, the Administration announced that it had already accepted 82,361 applications for deferred action, with 1,660 in the final review stage and 29 completed. These statistics showed that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was finishing the background checks promised in DACA in a matter of days—a process that should have taken four to six months. Yet the time in which the agency processed background checks only sped up. Documents later revealed that DHS memos told field offices to expect only “lean & lite” checks on illegal alien applicants for an indefinite period of time.
By June of 2014, a total of 675,476 DACA applications had been accepted. Meanwhile, even with reduced background checks, DACA proved a significant strain on USCIS’s resources, causing numerous delays for those who had followed the rules, such as the spouses and children of US citizens. However, the strain on the system caused by DACA would be likely to be slight compared to the strain that would be cause by an amnesty more than ten times larger, as President Obama still proclaims he will do, as soon as the midterm elections are over so that his party can escape accountability.