At Least 74 DACA Applications Were Rejected Because The U.S. Postal Service Was Late
On Sept. 5, the Trump Administration officially rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Although President Trump extended a six-month grace period for Congress to act a proposed DREAM Act, no new DACA applications would be accepted after the announcement. Those enrolled in the program whose DACA permit expired in March of 2018 were allowed to get a two-year renewal as long as they submitted their application by Oct. 5 of this year.
Unfortunately, some who mailed in their renewal forms with plenty of time to spare may still face deportation after a mistake by the U.S. Postal Service.
At least 41 applications from Chicago and 33 from New York that were mailed before the Oct. 5 deadline never arrived at their destination, the New York Times reports. The postal service said it takes full responsibility for the error.
— Paula Forero (@pforeronyc) November 10, 2017
According to the Times, David A. Partenheimer, a spokesman for the post office, said there had been an “unintentional temporary mail processing delay in the Chicago area.”
Although the U.S. Postal Service, a government agency, admitted to a delay in service, immigration officials are not going to consider the applications, which are considered late because they were received after the deadline.
“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,” Steve Blando, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in a statement to the New York Times, adding: “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.”
That means at least 74 DACA recipients are out of luck. The New York Times reports out of 154,000 people that were eligible to renew for DACA by Oct. 5, 132,000 applications were received on time.
According to a press release, House Democrats will send a letter to acting Secretary Elaine Duke demanding that the Department of Homeland Security reconsider the applications of DACA recipients who applied for an extension but were rejected after the delay by the U.S. Postal Service.
“DACA recipients are young Americans who study, contribute to our economy, and serve in our armed forces. They are our friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The DACA recipients who sent in their renewals well in advance do not deserve to have their applications rejected for factors outside of their control,” lawmakers said in a letter. “We urge you to reverse your current stance and process those applications postmarked by October 5th.”