A Small Victory Saves Some DACA Renewers Whose Applications Were Rejected as ‘Late’

(Long Island Wins archives)

On Tuesday, I reported on the thousands of renewals for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that were mailed on time by Dreamers, but rejected as “late” by Homeland Security because of U.S. Postal Service delays. Homeland Security estimates that 4,000 people were shut out because of this draconian decision.

The New York Immigration Coalition and I-ARC, a network of legal service providers to which I belong, along with my own organization CARECEN, collected examples of egregious instances of applications that were delayed for days and even weeks at the Chicago postal facility, only to be delivered a day or two after the October 5 deadline for receipt by Homeland Security. In some cases, the applications were actually delivered to Homeland Security on the final day to apply, but Homeland Security staff refused to receive them.

On Wednesday night, the Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke announced that applications that were mailed in a timely manner, but which were not received because of U.S. Postal Service delays, will now be accepted. It is unclear how many of the “late filings” will be saved by this announcement. The New York Times estimates that it may be as few as 100 cases.

Steve Choi, head of the New York Immigration Coalition, said he believed the number would be significantly higher.

Camille Mackler, Immigration Legal Policy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said Wednesday that she was glad to see United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “do the right thing by accepting these applications.”

Mackler had spearheaded the effort to salvage at least some of the applications. She said that the USCIS is expected to issue an announcement soon about what steps those whose DACA applications were rejected need to follow to renew their status.

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