tags: , , , Press Releases

DHS Denials and Reversal on DACA Applications Underscores Reality: Dreamers at Risk Now, Congressional Action Needed

Share This:

The arbitrary and cruel decision by President Trump’s decision to end DACA and to set the October 5th re-application deadline make it increasingly clear that Dreamers are under threat and in need of relief now.

Recent reporting in the New York Times and Vox highlights that some of the 22,000 DACA recipients who missed the artificial October 5th re-application deadline were victims of the government’s own ineptitude. Mail processing delays at U.S. Postal Service and the unwillingness or inability of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process re-applications already sitting in their mailbox on October 5th.

Due to the dysfunction on display, as Liz Robbins of the New York Times highlights, DHS will now allow affected applicants to re-submit their DACA paperwork if they have proof that they mailed their renewal in time but were victims of the government’s screw-up.

As the examples below highlight, DACA recipients and other young immigrants are already under threat and in need of Congressional action now, not at some vague point down the road:

  • Unfairly rejected DACA renewal applications: In news emanating from federal court in New York City this morning, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn recognized that many individuals are already being harmed because their DACA renewal applications were rejected unfairly. The Judge encouraged the government to address these concerns, while also leaving the door open for plaintiffs to amend their complaint to include DACA recipients whose renewals were rejected as a result of the government’s unworkable October 5th renewal deadline.
  • Felipe Abonza-Lopez, a 20-year old who has lived in Texas since age 5, has been unjustly held in a Texas detention facility for a month despite his active DACA status after a car he was riding in was stopped in Uvalde, TX. Not only has Felipe been unjustly detained due to his current DACA status, but he has even been mocked by detention facility staff for having a prosthetic leg. Felipe should be released immediately and Congress should pay attention to his case (as well as other DACA recipients under current threat, such as Jessica Colotl and Jesús Arreola).
  • 10-year old Rosa Maria Hernandez, who would qualify for the Dream Act, was separated from her family and placed in detention after CBP encountered her private ambulance at a border checkpoint and then waited outside her hospital room (while Rosa Maria has been reunited with her family, the government may still file deportation proceedings against her)
  • 122 Dreamers each day who are losing DACA protections: A Center for American Progress column, “Thousands of DACA Recipients Are Already Losing Their Protection From Deportation.” The report finds that 122 Dreamers every day are losing DACA protection between October 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018. As CAP notes, “the reality is that with every passing day, DACA recipients lose their protections and become vulnerable to a regime of enforcement overdrive.”
  • Nearly 300,000 DACA recipients who are set to lose their jobs between March and November 2018: A new report from FWD.us, “The Impact of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program Repeal on Jobs,” finds that if Congress fails to pass legislation to protect Dreamers, such as the Dream Act, nearly 300,000 DACA recipients will be ripped out of the American workforce. During that time, every single business day more than 1,700 Dreamers will lose the ability to work and contribute to the U.S. economy. And nearly all 800,000 Dreamers could be fired from their jobs and will become priorities for deportation to countries that most have no memory of.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:

Despite the fact that the manufactured crisis that ended DACA was created by the nativist wing of their own party, and despite the imminent harm facing hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, too many congressional Republicans remain content to kick the can down the road and avoid moving the popular and bipartisan Dream Act forward. But the government’s dysfunction on display during the re-application snafu and the government’s continued cruelty in targeting young immigrants underscore why action is needed now on Capitol Hill. It’s going to take time to ensure that any Dreamer fix can be implemented and scaled up, and it’s going to take vigilance to ensure that the Administration does not use inaction as a continued excuse for targeting these young Americans.