The Trump administration named March 5 as the end date for DACA — which means that the Congress still has four more months to work on a legislation to provide a permanent fix over the DACA issue.
The administration also set October 5, 2017 as the deadline to submit application to renew the temporary DACA status.
Recent reports show that many immigrants who submitted their application weeks before in advance of the set deadline have already lost their status. Reason being delay from the postal services in delivering the applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Chicago.
Reports suggest that by March 5, 22,000 immigrants will have lost DACA protections because their applications for one last renewal weren’t received at government offices by October 5, a deadline that the Trump administration set only a month in advance, and didn’t notify immigrants about.
The Post Office has taken responsibility for the delay: that an “unintentional temporary mail processing delay in the Chicago area” had caused the delays. This raises the possibility that more than 54 DACA recipients were affected, but it doesn’t explain why applicants in New York and Chicago experienced the same problems while applicants from Philadelphia and Boston (who were sending applications to the same office) were not.
DHS secretary nominee Kirstjen Nielsen, during her nomination hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that the department might reconsider its stance toward DACA applicants who’d missed the deadline due to circumstances beyond their control — like the hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida in September. But the department has said it’s not going to reconsider the applications delayed by the post office.
The Trump administration seems to have pan to end the program. The first thing it stopped accepting new applications for protection (from people who had just become eligible for DACA, for example by turning 15, or who had only just managed to get the $495 fee and documentation together) on September 5.
Second, It announced that it wouldn’t be allowing any DACA recipient to renew their protections (which expire after two years) if their current grant of protection and work permit expired at any time after March 5, 2018.
And third, it gave the 154,000 immigrants who currently had DACA, but whose protections were set to expire before March 5, one last chance for a two-year renewal — but only if they got their applications in by October 5, 2017.
Thousands of such applicants are requesting to consider their applications. We are following up on the case and will update all once we receive further details from the USCIS.
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