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Two Days Before Arbitrary 10/5 DACA Renewal Deadline, Tens of Thousands of Dreamers May Be Left Unprotected

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Trump Administration should extend arbitrary deadline and Congress should move Dream Act forward with renewed urgency

Washington, DC – With just two days remaining before we reach the October 5th DACA renewal deadline affecting more than 150,000 DACA recipients, the Trump Administration seems insistent on keeping the new and artificial deadline in place. As several press accounts highlight today, this would pose a very real challenge and danger for tens of thousands of current DACA recipients who now may be left unprotected as a result of the artificial deadline.

There are massive efforts underway to support DACA renewals, including assistance with legal services, advice on filling out paperwork, and support for paying the $495 renewal fee (see these pieces in today’s New York Times and Los Angeles Timescapturing the scramble to support Dreamers ahead of the deadline and capturing why the new deadline imposes such a hardship for so many). Despite these important ongoing efforts, tens of thousands of current DACA recipients are still likely to be miss the new deadline. This undoubtedly includes thousands of individuals from among the nearly 160,000 DACA recipients who live in the states of Florida and Texas, both recently ravaged by hurricanes.

New information from DHS today highlights that nearly 50,000 current DACA recipients who must file by the October 5th deadline have not yet had their renewal application processed. If they don’t know about the new deadline, or can’t raise the funds, or get anything in the application wrong, they will be out of luck. This could send them back into the shadows and potentially expose them to deportation in a matter of weeks.

Despite their resistance thus far, DHS should extend the arbitrary deadline for DACA renewals to, minimally, January 5th, 2018Several House Republicans, such as Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA) and Rep. Scott Taylor (VA), are now making the case for such an extension. The new GOP support joins recent letters from lawmakers and civic and business leaders calling forDHS to extend the October 5th deadline. Federal Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis also has expressed his frustration with the Trump Administration’s continued support for its arbitrary October 5thDACA renewal deadline, calling it “unacceptable, quite frankly, to me, as a human being and as an American. I’m just glad I was born in Paterson, New Jersey, and not in Mexico City.” The scope and focus of the class action lawsuit in front of Judge Garaufis means that, despite his frustration, a judicial ruling extending the October deadline may not be forthcoming from his bench.

Meanwhile, Congress, watching the cruelty of Dreamers scrambling to meet the artificial renewal deadline, should step up and pass legislation for Dreamers to provide a permanent solution for these affected DACA recipients and the rest of the Dreamer population whose lives and futures have been thrown into uncertainty as a result of the Trump Administration’s announcement to end DACA. The Dream Act has bipartisan support in both chambers, is the subject of a new discharge petition, and would pass if brought to the floor.  

Follow Frank Sharry and America’s Voice Education Fund on Twitter: @FrankSharry and @AmericasVoice

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