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
© Getty Images

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

"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 HeinrichSchumer wants answers from Trump on eminent domain at border Manafort developments trigger new ‘collusion’ debate Senators say questions remain on Trump strategy in Syria after briefing MORE (D-N.M.), was signed by 24 Democrats in all, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Trump blasts Pelosi for wanting to leave country during shutdown The Senate should host the State of the Union MORE (D-N.Y.) and progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Democrats barnstorm the country for MLK weekend Kamala Harris picks Baltimore as headquarters for potential 2020 campaign: report Dem voters split on importance of women atop the ticket in 2020 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.