New report on DACA renewals from the Migration Policy Institute

coverthumbMany of us who have applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) worried about our renewals two-years after our initial DACA approval.  We also worried about having enough money to pay the $465 fee once again, about applying within the window that USCIS suggested, and about receiving our renewal approval on time.  Many of you have shared your stories and timelines about the DACA renewal process on a blog post I wrote and titled, “My DACA renewal timeline & helpful resources“.  Three years after DACA was first implemented, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) has released new findings about initial requests and renewals for DACA.  Here are a few highlights from the report:

– The $465 application fee remains a barrier to DACA renewal

“Immigrant-rights advocates and others have urged USCIS to reduce the fee burden by accepting payment via credit card and implementing more generous provisions for fee waivers. Though the agency recently updated its procedures to allow naturalization applications to pay their application fee using a credit card, to date it has not made similar provisions for DACA applicants”

– There is a general lack of information and resources about the DACA renewal process

“To help reduce confusion about renewal timelines and inform DACA recipients about the renewal process, USCIS in late March 2015 began mailing renewal reminder notices 180 days (up from 100 days) prior to the expiration date of recipients’ current period of protection”

– Delay in DACA renewal processing has resulted in nonimmigration-related consequences

“Some employers, for instance, have required DACA recipients to stop working until they can provide evidence that their employment authorization document has been renewed. Renewal requestors for whom application processing has been delayed also report asking for unpaid leave or using vacation time while they await adjudication”

– Delay in DACA renewal processing has resulted in immigration-related consequences

“Renewal requestors affected by application processing delays and those who do not apply to renew their initial DACA grant in a timely fashion accrue time when they are unlawfully present in the United States.  An individual begins to accrue unlawful presence when he/she is present in the United States after the expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Homeland Security Secretary or is present in the United States without being admitted or paroled. DACA youth in this situation face unfavorable consequences if the amount of time they accrue is sufficient to trigger of the unlawful presence bars contained in immigration law”

– Pending DACA Renewals:

DACA renewals

To read the full report, click here: “DACA at the Three-Year Mark: High Pace of Renewals, But Processing Difficulties Evident


Additional recommended resources:

My (Un)Documented Life Blog- “My DACA is about to expire- what can I do?

My (Un)Documented Life Blog- “When should I renew my DACA?

Migration Policy Institute- “DACA data tool

Don’t forget to visit our website from your computer (not just mobile phone) so you can have access to the wide range of resources we provide. Be sure to subscribe (it’s free) for up-to-date information and resources for undocumented immigrants.

At My Undocumented Life blog we provide up-to-date information and resources to undocumented immigrants. We post scholarship opportunities that are open to undocumented students, strategies for navigating the educational system, information on how to apply for DACA, news on immigration policies, and much more. Most importantly, we want to provide a sense of community to our diverse group of readers.

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