DACA recipients whose apps were delayed in mail can resubmit them

DACA recipients whose apps were delayed in mail can resubmit them
© Getty Images

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program whose renewal applications were delayed in the mail will now be able to resubmit them.

The decision comes after applications to renew the status of dozens of DACA recipients were rejected because they arrived after the deadline.

The acting director of the Department of Homeland Security told the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency that recipients should be able to resubmit their applications if they can prove their original documents were delayed in the mail, The New York Times reported.

“We’re glad to see U.S.C.I.S. do the right thing by accepting these applications,” said Camille Mackler, the director of legal immigration policy at the New York Immigration Coalition, an immigrant advocacy group, according to the Times.

“This news will come as a huge relief to DACA recipients who had been living with enormous anxiety for weeks now,” she said.

The newspaper reported last week at least 33 DACA recipients in the New York region had their applications denied because the paperwork arrived after the Oct. 5 deadline, despite having sent them weeks in advance. Advocates told the Times  41 people in Chicago had been impacted by the postal delays.
The U.S. Postal Service admitted there had been an "unintentional temporary processing delay in the Chicago area."
But USCIS officials refused to accept the delayed applications.
“According to U.S.C.I.S. regulations, a request is considered received by U.S.C.I.S. as of the actual date of receipt at the location for filing such request,” a spokesman for the agency told the newspaper in a statement. “U.S.C.I.S. is not responsible for the mail service an individual chooses, or for delays on the part of mail service providers.” 
On Wednesday, two dozen Senate Democrats called on the Department of Homeland Security to allow beneficiaries of the DACA program to resubmit their applications if they were deemed late because of the mail.

In a letter sent to acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke on Wednesday, the lawmakers said they were "troubled" by reports that some DACA recipients had their applications rejected because postal delays caused them to miss the Oct. 5 deadline to reapply for the program's protections.

President Trump announced in September he would phase out the DACA program, which was implemented under the Obama administration and protects young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.