The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said it will accept Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal requests from applicants who have “individualized proof” that their requests for renewal were rejected because they were delayed in the mail.
The decision followed media reports that identified dozens of cases in which DACA renewal requests were mailed well in advance of the Oct. 5 deadline, only to be received after the deadline. The U.S. Postal Service acknowledged it was at fault in at least some of the cases.
DHS said in a statement that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept resubmitted renewal requests from applicants who can show that their requests were “originally mailed in a timely manner and that the cause for receipt after the Oct. 5, 2017, deadline was the result of USPS mail service error.” DACA renewal applicants without proof of when they mailed their requests should contact USPS, which, according to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, will review individual cases and issue letters if appropriate.
DHS also said it had identified some cases where DACA renewal requests were received at the appropriate filing location on time, but were nonetheless rejected as late. USCIS will contact applicants in these cases to inform them that they will also be permitted to resubmit renewal requests, the DHS statement said.
The Trump administration announced in September that it will terminate the DACA program in March, giving Congress six months to find a legislative substitute. Several bills have been proposed, but no permanent fix has been finalized.
BAL Analysis: Anyone who believes that a DACA renewal request was wrongly denied as late because of mail delays should contact their BAL professional about resubmitting their request.