NEW YORK, NY - In response to new guidance published last night by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding DACA renewal applications, Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“As US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) moves to comply with last week’s Court order directing them to resume accepting DACA renewal applications for those previously enrolled in the program, we will work with our members and partners to get information and application assistance services to our communities and monitor further implementation of the order. However, as new applications will still not be accepted, the only real and permanent solution to address the plight of DREAMers is for Congress to act by passing a clean DREAM Act immediately. DACA has always been a temporary fix, and the twists and turns of the last months have sown fear and instability into communities. A clean DREAM Act is the only way to ensure that young people across the country are able to plan their lives and live without fear.”
Based on USCIS’ guidance, the following rules are now in effect:
- Individuals whose grants of DACA expired on or after September 5, 2017 may apply to renew DACA now.
- Individuals whose grants of DACA will expire within 180 days may apply to renew DACA once they fall within that time window.
- Individuals who were previously granted DACA but which expired before September 5, 2016 or was previously terminated can re-apply, but must do so as an initial application (i.e. with evidence they meet all requirements for the program, including continuous presence, good moral character, and educational achievements).
- Individuals who have never received DACA may not apply.
- No one can apply for travel permission (“advance parole”) or leave the United States.
- The fee to renew DACA remains $495.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would serve as a permanent solution for those who currently qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including the 42,000 DACA recipients in New York whose status is at risk. Four months ago, President Trump rescinded DACA and the administration and congressional Republican leaders are attempting to make increased border protections (including “the Wall”) a condition of any future bill. Over the past four months, more than 13,000 individuals have lost their DACA status at a rate of 122 people per day. Last Wednesday, a judge in the Northern District of California ruled that the DACA program had been impermissibly terminated and ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting renewal applications for previous DACA recipients.
Over fifty percent of DACA recipients under the age of 25 are on track to receive a bachelor’s degree, and in total, over ninety percent of DACA recipients are employed. In the next 10 years, the country stands to lose $460.3 billion in GDP if DACA is ended without a legislative solution. In New York alone, there are 115,000 Dream Act-eligible individuals in the workforce who would add a projected $1.75 billion to the state GDP annually over ten years.