Members of Congress push for extra time for DREAMers delayed by hurricanes

We break down what DACA is and what it could mean for thousands of immigrants.

Children brought to the U.S.by their parents as undocumented immigrants have until Oct. 5 to reapply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also called DACA.

In early September, the Trump administration announced it would phase out the program, leaving nearly 800,000 immigrants, also known as DREAMers, uncertain about their future.

The move allows them to avoid deportation for up to two more years, but unless Congress passes a permanent law to protect them, those enrolled must plan for an uncertain future.

With the deadline approaching, over 150,000 DACA recipients whose protections will expire by or before March 5, 2018, are eligible to reapply. As of Sept. 7, 910 of those recipients have been granted renewal, 56,700 had pending renewal and 96,000 had not submitted renewal forms.

If DACA recipients met the initial 2012 guidelines, they are eligible to reapply.

Those parameters include:

• Did not depart from the United State on or after Aug. 12, 2012, without advance parole

• Have continuously lived in the United States since they submitted their most recently approved DACA request

• Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors

• Are a current DACA recipient whose status expires between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018

Renewal applications can be completed at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

U.S. representatives urged DACA recipients to renew their applications. 

 

 

 

DACA recipients might need more time to reapply because of a recent wave of hurricanes, senators said during a Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday. They asked the Department of Homeland Security to extend the deadline.

“For goodness sakes, give them a break if they’re facing hurricanes and problems with it," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.  "Don’t hold them to this Thursday deadline. Give them at least a case-by-case consideration,”he said.

The DREAM Act, which Durbin co-sponsors with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, would provide legal protections and a path to citizenship for DREAMers.

There need to be a reasonable response to DACA recipients in distressed areas, said Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. "I think it should be on us to try to make this as smooth as possible."

Tillis is a co-sponsor of a GOP bill that would also provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers, but would be more restrictive and take longer than the DREAM Act.

Michael Dougherty, the DHS assistant secretary for border immigration and trade policy, told senators people from Puerto Rico have an extension "on a case-by-case basis," but no exceptions exist for DREAMers from other areas. He said he would relay the lawmakers' concerns to DHS officials.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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