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.


"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 HeinrichOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Senate committee advances nomination of general accused of sexual assault House passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards MORE (D-N.M.), was signed by 24 Democrats in all, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Colorado candidates vying to take on Gardner warn Hickenlooper they won't back down MORE (D-N.Y.) and progressive firebrand Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat Joe Biden faces an uncertain path The Memo: Trump pushes back amid signs of economic slowdown 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.