EDIT: The estimates below do not include immigrants from the age of 10-14 who will age into DACA eligibility over the next 4 years. Therefore, the numbers below could be double of what I estimated below.
Below is a letter I wrote to another immigration attorney recently:
I hope you are doing well.
I am very concerned that practically no one in the immigration law community has emphasized the need to screen potential DACA applicants under the age of 21 for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
A significant number of my consultations for DACA resulted in a determination of SIJS eligibility. Given that many of the DACA recipients are from Mexico and Central America–places with high rates of abandonment by at least one parent and high levels of violent crime– it is reasonable to conclude that there are tens of thousands of DACA-eligible individuals also eligible for SIJS as well as asylum, U and T Visas.
Indeed, a report by the Vera Institute, cited in an August 25, 2012 NY Times article titled Young and Alone Facing Court and Deportation, found that 40 percent of unaccompanied minors in 2010 were eligible for some form of relief. Out of that 40 percent, 22.8 percent were eligible for SIJS.
If 22.8 percent of DACA applicants under the age of 21 are eligible for SIJS, my estimate of tens of thousands is conservative. In fact, 22.8 percent of the estimated individuals eligible for DACA under the age of 21 is 129,200. The total number of DACA eligible individuals who are under 21 and eligible for permanent forms of relief is 226,666.
This is not an insignificant number and does not include what outreach would do for individuals not eligible for DACA but eligible for SIJS.
Without a significant outreach from a credible source, many of these overlapped individuals will apply for DACA and age out of their eligibility for SIJS or other forms of permanent relief. To me, this is unconscionable; if these individuals are eligible for SIJS, they should at the very least be informed of the choice and the possibility that it could lead to permanent residency.
Thank you for your time.