Good news for DACA recipients as the United States Citizenship and Immigration Agency announced it would allow individuals to resubmit rejected applications that arrived after the deadline due to a delivery delay. The decision comes after the agency initially announced it would not consider the nearly 100 applications that arrived after the deadline.
DACA recipient, Simrri Juarez was among those whose application was delivered after the cutoff.
"Wow, I'm speechless," Simrri said when he heard the news last Wednesday night. "Since I'm the one that provides the most for this, it's a big relief. I'm going to be able to keep this job and not fear what I'm going to do."
Acting Department of Homeland Security announced last week the agency had been instructed to allow those applicants for renewal to resubmit their paperwork if they had proof of mailing before the October 5 deadline. Mail service delays caused applications to arrive after the deadline, which led to denials and dismay for DACA recipients.
Immigration advocates lobbied USCIS, urging them against penalizing applications for shortcomings with the US Postal Service. Director of Legal Immigration Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, Camille Mackler said, "We're glad to see USCIS do the right thing by accepting these applications. This news will come as a huge relief to DACA recipients who had been living with enormous anxiety for weeks now."
Following the decision by President Trump to end the DACA program, over 132,000 applications for renewal were submitted. An estimated 4,000 applications arrived after the deadline, according to an October 18 court deposition. It is not known how many of these are due to mail service delays. However, officials say they know of at least 115 applications were rejected due to mail delivery issues. All three USCIS intake locations were affected by service delays. Immigration attorneys believe this problem could have easily been avoided. Kate Voigt, associate director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, commented, "All of this could have been avoided by not having a very short arbitrary deadline and by responding to our concerns about having a received-by deadline.”
As litigation challenging the ruling to end the DACA program continues with a hearing scheduled for Thursday morning, the government has a deadline of its own to respond to the delayed applications. The federal lawsuit challenging the ruling is said to now include an amendment concerning delayed DACA applications.