182 undocumented Kenyans living in the US are among thousands of immigrants arrested while applying for legal status to avoid deportation and become eligible for work permits.
Those arrested had applied to be included in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to a report by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
DACA is an immigration program that allows those with unlawful presence in the US after being brought in as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action.
The USCIS report covered 78 countries globally, with Mexico recording the highest number of illegal immigrants arrested at 91,272, while Mali, New Zealand, and Taiwan had the least number at 21.
A total of 118,371 foreigners were arrested, out of which 464 are of unknown descent. In terms of regions, Africa had 1,100 DACA applicants arrested with North America recording the highest number at 107,669, while Oceania had the least number at 88.
Kenya has the second-highest number among African countries behind Nigeria with 209 incarcerated persons.
“The release of this report reflects the agency’s ongoing focus on transparency. The report provides updated information on known arrests and apprehensions of DACA requestors. The data may include arrests that did not result in convictions or where the charges were dropped or otherwise dismissed,” said USCIS.
The DACA program was enacted under President Barack Obama administration in 2012 but his successor Donald Trump has threatened to end the program.
DACA applicants must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more ‘non-significant’ misdemeanors not arising out of the same act. They are also expected to not pose a threat to national security or public safety.