Kenya: 182 Arrested While Applying for Legal Status in U.S.

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(file photo)..
19 November 2019

At least 182 undocumented Kenyans living in the US were among thousands of immigrants arrested while applying for legal status to avoid deportation and become eligible for work permits.

According to Mwakilishi, a Kenyan US-based social media news aggregator, those arrested had applied to be included in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme.

The news site attributes this report to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

DACA is a programme that allows immigrants brought in as children in the US, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred deportation.


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.

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 it.

DACA applicants must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanour, or three or more 'non-significant' misdemeanours not arising from the same act. They are also expected to not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

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