WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just three weeks after the Obama administration started accepting applications from young illegal immigrants seeking to avoid deportation and get a work permit, the government already has approved some of the roughly 72,000 applications the government has received.
The Homeland Security Department said Tuesday that a small group of applications has been approved and those immigrants are being notified this week about the decision. The department did not say how many applications had been approved.
The first wave of approvals comes months ahead of Homeland Security's own internal estimates of how long the application process for the administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could take -- and less than 60 days before the Nov. 6 elections. According to an internal Homeland Security document obtained by The Associated Press, the department's Citizenship and Immigration Services had estimated that each application could take several months to be completed.
"Following a thorough, individualized case review, USCIS has now begun notifying individuals of the determination on their deferral requests," Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard said in a statement. He said about 72,000 applications have been received since the program's Aug. 15 start.
Homeland Security said background checks, including finger prints checks, are being conducted on each immigrant before an application can be approved. The average wait time for approval is expected to be about four months to six months. Read more at USA Today