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Advocates Ask for DACA Renewal Extension; Oct. 5 is “Arbitrary, Unworkable, and Cruel”

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Today, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), an organization representing the country’s 37 largest immigrant and refugee rights organizations, sent a letter to DHS asking for an extension of the October 5, 2017 deadline for eligible DACA renewals.

When Trump announced last week that he was ending DACA, only recipients whose paperwork expires before March 5, 2018 were told they would be able to renew their status and work permits. This is estimated to apply to 150,000 DACA recipients, or 19% of the 800,000 total. This group, however, only has until October 5, 2017 to renew, which NPNA is calling “arbitrary, unworkable, and cruel.”

October 5th is just a few short weeks away, meaning that recipients may not have enough time to consult with an attorney in cases where they need to, or save up the $465 it costs to renew DACA. NPNA also points out that the short amount of time means that at least 5,433 renewal applications must be filed every single day, including weekends, which is a logistical improbability.

Making sure that every single DACA recipient who is eligible to renew, is able to and has time to, will be a priority for advocates in the next month considering that most of the 800,000 DACA recipients will not be given a chance to renew.

As the NPNA letter states:

We are writing to express our profound disappointment at the administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to urgently request a meeting. Although we deeply disagree with the decision to terminate DACA, we write about one aspect in the implementation of this decision. At NPNA we believe that the decision to require all DACA recipients whose permission expires in the next six months to have their renewal submitted by October 5 is a deadline that is arbitrary, unworkable, and cruel.

It will result in tens of thousands of current DACA holders losing their legal status, protections from deportation, and ability to work legally and contribute to our nation. We ask to meet with you to discuss several policy recommendations concerning the implementation of this decision. The actual effect of this October 5 deadline is that there must be 5,433 applications filed every single day, including weekends, if the 154,000 current DACA holders whose permissions expire over the next six months are to be able to apply to renew their DACA. This would mean 214 applications must be filed every single hour, all night long, for 30 days. This is a very limited timeline for organizations like ours to locate and inform these DACA youth and assist them. Many DACA recipients will not have saved for the unexpected $495 expense. The October 5 deadline is simply unworkable.

NPNA is asking DHS to:

  1. Meet with NPNA leadership and immigration advocates to discuss the implementation of DACA ending;
  2. Extend the deadline for deferred action renewal to, minimally, January 5, 2018;
  3. Inform each DACA recipient across the country, by registered letter, of the change in U.S. policy and of registration requirements and deadlines; and,
  4. Establish tables at all DHS / USCIS offices for the final week before the deadline, to receive completed DACA Applications with time stamps and receipts, to facilitate renewal submission and minimize chaos during the final crush before the deadline.

The full text of the letter can be found here.