Senators urge DHS to reconsider DACA applications that were delayed in the mail

Senators urge DHS to reconsider DACA applications that were delayed in the mail
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Two dozen Senate Democrats are calling on the Department of Homeland Security to allow thousands of beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to resubmit their applications after they were deemed late because of U.S. Postal Service delays.

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.

"We are deeply troubled that despite the best efforts of many DACA recipients to submit their applications to DHS before October 5, the Department has rejected thousands of DACA renewal applications that arrived after the deadline," the letter reads.

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"We encourage you to weigh the life-changing consequences many will face in the absence of action by the Department."

The letter, led by Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichNew Mexico senators request probe into militia group detaining migrants Lawmakers, tech set for clash over AI Why America needs the ability to track enemy missiles from space MORE (D-N.M.), was signed by 24 Democrats in all, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMJ Hegar announces Texas Senate bid Hillicon Valley: House Dems subpoena full Mueller report | DOJ pushes back at 'premature' subpoena | Dems reject offer to view report with fewer redactions | Trump camp runs Facebook ads about Mueller report | Uber gets B for self-driving cars Dem legal analyst says media 'overplayed' hand in Mueller coverage MORE (D-N.Y.) and progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenColbert links large 2020 Dem field to Avengers: 'A group of every available person in the universe' Seven big decisions facing Biden in 2020 primary Sanders dominates, Buttigieg surges in 2020 social media battle MORE (D-Mass.).

The Postal Service admitted that there were "unintentional temporary mail processing delay in the Chicago area" that may have caused some applications to be delivered after the deadline. But U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services declined to accept the late applications.

It is unknown how many people have been impacted by the delay. 

DACA, which was implemented under the Obama administration, offers young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children temporary protection from deportation. President Trump announced in September that he would phase out the program, but urged Congress to take action to enshrine its protections into law.

Beneficiaries were given until Oct. 5 to reapply for DACA's protections for another two years.

Many lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called to move swiftly to pass legislation codifying DACA's protections. But the future of those efforts remain uncertain amid disagreements between Democrats and Republicans about what such legislation should include.