Feds must receive DACA renewal forms by Thursday

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Federal officials are reminding young unauthorized immigrants eligible to renew their protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, that their renewal forms must be received by Thursday.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials said they must have the DACA renewal applications in hand by end of day on Oct. 5, not by a postmark date.

Last month, President Trump rescinded the DACA program, which lets roughly 800,000 young unauthorized immigrants live and work in the U.S. legally. Beginning in 2012, the Obama-era program gave temporary protection to young immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before age 16.

When Trump rescinded the program effective March 5, those whose two-year permits were set to expire before that date were given a month to renew one last time.

Since then, legal providers have been working feverishly to process renewal applicants. On Tuesday, last-minute applicants were still seeking help.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said there were about 40 people lined up Tuesday morning to get advice on filling out DACA renewal forms.

The applications must be mailed in, and cannot be submitted online. Cabrera said in an email that his organization is advising applicants to mail their forms in no later than noon Wednesday "to have a strong chance" of getting their applications received in time.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement Tuesday that of about 154,200 people whose DACA status was set to expire between Sept. 5 and March 5, "just over 106,000 either have renewal requests currently pending with USCIS, or have already had USCIS adjudicate their renewal request."

That still leaves tens of thousands who are eligible to apply for renewal who have yet to submit applications.

“For individuals who are still eligible to request renewal of their deferred action under DACA, but have not yet done so, I urge you to make this a priority," Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said in the statement.

The one-month period that the Trump administration gave DACA recipients to renew prompted several lawmakers to urge the deadline be extended.  Some Los Angeles County supervisors joined in on the request.

So far federal officials have not changed the deadline. Duke said in her statement that DACA renewal applications from hurricane-devastated Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands would be considered on a "case-by-case basis" in light of communications and infrastructure problems, but that fewer than 20 DACA recipients from both places had yet to renew.

The $495 federal processing fee for DACA renewals has also been an obstacle for some. Private donors, individual schools and colleges, and others stepped up to contribute toward applicants' costs. California lawmakers also recently committed funding for some legal providers that can be applied toward low-income applicants' renewal fees.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a list of where to send renewal forms on its website.

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