Tuesday, September 29, 2020

CHIRLA offers to pay DACA renewal fee so that DREAMers get protections

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) in California is offering to pay the $495 renewal fee for eligible DACA recipients.

“We are very concerned DACA recipients nationally are not renewing their permits in the high numbers we were expecting,” said CHIRLA legal services director Luis Perez.

CHIRLA announced yesterday its “Renew and Secure It” campaign to offer DACA applicants free legal consultations, renewal processing services and payment of the renewal fee. President Trump officially rescinded DACA last September, but court action has forced DHS to continue processing renewals for existing program beneficiaries.

In 2015, DACA renewals peaked at 363,553. To remain in the program, those applicants would have had to renew their permits between 2017 and 2018, however between October of 2017 and March of 2018, only 93,857 DACA recipients had renewed their permits, according to DHS numbers.

The March deadline was set by Trump was to begin a wind-down process to fully eliminate DACA, but three court injunctions have stopped his order, forcing the renewal process to continue. A fourth court did away with Trump’s rescission, which would compel DHS to also grant new applications, but then gave the government 90 days to explain its decision to terminate DACA.

A competing lawsuit seeking to declare DACA unconstitutional was filed earlier this month by Texas and six other states, adding to confusion over the program’s future. Perez cited the multiple court cases among the reasons DACA recipients chose not to renew their permits.

“It may be due to fear of the anti-immigrant rhetoric led by President Trump, not having sufficient funds to pay the $495 USCIS fees, confusion due to all the court rulings and legal threats, or because they may incorrectly assume a permanent solution such as the DREAM Act may be in the works,” he said. “Whatever the reason,” he added, “we want DACA recipients to know during the next 2 and a half months they have an opportunity here at CHIRLA to apply and secure two more years of protection.”

THE HILL