Illegal aliens are clamoring for the documents necessary to apply for executive amnesty under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Requests for record requests have strained school resources and forced some localities to add staff. Law enforcement officials and even Mexican consulates are feeling the pressure, too.
DACA applicants must demonstrate that they had been or are in school so records are critical proof. School records also help prove continuous residence in the U.S., another program criteria.
Schools in Yakima, Wash. are taking almost a month to forward transcripts to former students. Before DACA, transcripts were usually a same-day service. Transcript requests at Aurora Colorado public Schools increased to 1,500 since July, a two-thirds jump since last year.
Some parts of the Los Angeles Unified School District had backlogs of 300 requests. Administrators decided to create an online form to channel applications to a central point. The district, which is paying workers overtime to catch up, estimates it will spend about $200,000 on the requests.
The San Diego Unified School District gets between 89 and 100 calls per day concerning requests. Administrators set up a temporary office with five new employees to handle the traffic. San Diego expects to spend $45,000 on requests through the end of the year.
In Tarrant County, Texas officials have seen a spike in the number of requests for criminal record searches from DACA applicants. Those with criminal histories must submit the information on their application. Requests for felony record searches in the county have almost tripled over the last several weeks. District Clerk Tom Wilder said, "We're trying to handle this with existing personnel. That remains to be seen if we can do that.”
The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles issued 17,444 passports and consular identification cards in August. That’s a 63 percent increase over the prior year and entirely attributed to DACA. Denver’s Mexican consulate started holding Saturday hours in August after passport applications spiked by one-third.
Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, criticized the Obama Administration and its DACA policy. He said it is an example of how the Administration “routinely puts illegal immigrants first at the expense of the American people.”
“Administration officials intentionally made these guidelines vague enough so that potentially millions of illegal immigrants can qualify. And now the administration has revised their guidelines to be specific enough to protect unscrupulous employers from facing legal action for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants that have applied for the amnesty program,” Rep. Smith said.
Originally Published: Tue, Sep 25th 2012 @ 5:00pm EDT