It appears as though 4,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients will be granted a filing extension after requisite documents were reported “late.”
On November 10, the New York Times reported slow mail delivery was responsible.
However, a lawsuit filed November 14 against President Donald Trump’s administration alleges the documents had been received on time and ignored in a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mailbox, their required destination, since October 5.
USCIS confirmed this after news broke.
The federal government now promises to reach out to the affected people, and urge them to reapply.
Vox confirmed at least 20 cases in which the postal service delivered in the late afternoon or evening of October 5 to two of three mailboxes USCIS uses to accept DACA applications.
Those applications, representing a significant portion of the 4,000 the government claimed were late, were marked “received” October 6.
Plaintiffs in the suit further allege USCIS denied some applications for “arbitrary” reasons.
For example, one applicant was rejected because a USCIS employee misread the date on her check.
Kate Voigt, the associate director for government relations of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said:
“A lot of people would have thought, ‘If I get them to them on the address they give me, by the day they say I should send it by, that’s enough.’”
President Trump originally claimed DACA applicants would be safe from deportation and continued to be granted work permits up to March 5.
Immigration lawyers from coast to coast are reporting individuals who pose no risk, with minimal or no criminal records, are being targeted for deportation.
Over 90 percent of removal proceedings in the first two months of Trump’s tenure have been against people who have committed no crime other living in the country undocumented. Early figures on deportation arrests show the number of people arrested without criminal records has doubled.
“Bad hombres” are even being rounded up for minor misdemeanors, like traffic tickets.
Due to this mishap, DACA beneficiaries now have another opportunity.
Image credit: citybarjusticecenter.org