The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced today that it is renewing a program designed to shield young undocumented immigrants from being deported.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program was established in 2012 and is now being extended for another two years. That means that undocumented children who participated in the program’s first round can now submit renewal applications. The application itself costs $465.

The program has already provided relief to an estimated 560,000 immigrants.

About 4,000 children in Hawaii are eligible for protection under DACA, according to a press release from Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono, the only immigrant in the U.S. Senate.

“These millions of young people … should be able to stay in the country they call home,” Hirono said in a statement.

Under DACA, young immigrants can get a work permit and social security card and, in some states including Hawaii, pay in-state tuition and acquire a drivers license.

Undocumented children who don’t have DACA are still subject to deportation.

While Hirono applauded today’s announcement, she stressed that immigration reform still leaves a lot to be desired.

The senator is urging House Republicans to take up an immigration bill that the Senate passed last year. The bill would create a road to citizenship for several million undocumented immigrants. It would also establish new border enforcement and deportation regulations.

 

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