Analysis: USCIS must do more on DACA renewals
Washington, D.C. (April 21, 2018) — More individuals with DACA are renewing their status; yet the number of individuals whose DACA has expired and the number of pending renewal applications remain causes for concern, according to a new column by the Center for America Progress.
The data from the most recent USCIS quarterly report reveal that of the 22,000 people who did not apply for renewal before Oct. 5, approximately 16,000 — more than 70 percent — still have not done so, and therefore, their DACA has expired. Additionally, as of March 31, more than 9,000 renewal applications from individuals with expired DACA are pending USCIS approval.
After President Donald Trump decided to end DACA on Sept. 5, 2017, approximately 22,000 DACA recipients who were eligible to apply for renewal did not meet the administration’s arbitrary October 5, 2017, deadline. After a court case granted a preliminary injunction in January 2018, USCIS reopened the application process for anyone whose DACA had expired
CAP’s analysis of the quarterly report in connection to the case makes it clear that USCIS needs to provide up-to-date guidance on processes and timelines as it adjudicates applications. The column also calls into question the agency’s lack of transparency about the pace at which recipients are getting their renewals. This is especially important since USCIS is likely to have a higher number of pending applications to process in the near future, which would mean longer adjudication times and more people losing protection as they wait.
“While the USCIS report contains some good news, it also makes it clear that the agency must do more to make sure that Dreamers are and remain protected,” said Philip E. Wolgin, managing director for the Immigration Policy team at CAP and co-author of the analysis. “Until Congress takes action to protect Dreamers, it is important that DACA recipients apply for renewal, and, to ensure that there are no lapses in their status, USCIS must do more work to make it clear that renewal applications are currently open and that applications are quickly adjudicated.”
“The signals the Trump administration is sending on DACA renewals are just another attempt to make immigrants feel unwelcome, but individuals protected by DACA are eligible to apply for renewal” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at CAP and co-author of the analysis. “There is a clear need for increased support to spread the word about renewals and to help DACA recipients apply. Without protection from deportation, hundreds of thousands of lives are in limbo as they await action from Congress.”
Click here to read: “More Work Needed to Sustain Progress on DACA Renewals” by Nicole Prchal Svajlenka and Philip E. Wolgin.
Related Resources: “Dreams Deferred: A Look at DACA Renewals and Losses Post-March 5” by Tom Jawetz, Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, and Philip E. Wolgin.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”