Know Your Power. Consider Renewing Your DACA Today
THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Ignacia Rodriguez and Diana Pliego
JANUARY 17, 2020
Earlier this week, on January 13, 2020, we marked the two-year anniversary of the first injunction that reopened the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewal application process. The first injunction and the injunctions that followed were results of brave decisions made by DACA recipients across the U.S. to share how the termination of DACA by the Trump administration affected them.
Thanks to their bravery, well over 600,000 people have been able to apply for renewal since the DACA renewal application process reopened. This is no small victory, and their bravery and this victory are worth keeping in mind as we continue working toward an America that honors all people and families — no exceptions.
As the fight continues, however, the new year brings with it a number of possible new developments and uncertainties. For one thing, the U.S. Supreme Court will issue a decision that could affect the availability of DACA renewals. For another, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) could implement proposed fee hikes that would make DACA renewals less affordable. And there are new reports of delays in DACA renewal application processing times. Each of these factors is very important to DACA recipients and impacts each person’s decision about when or if to submit a renewal application.
If you’re a DACA recipient considering when or whether to renew, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. However, despite the uncertainties, you do have some measure of control in this situation. You have the power to decide whether to apply to renew your DACA. And if your DACA expires any time in 2020, we encourage you to consider submitting a renewal application soon.
As you weigh all the factors and make your decision, we urge you to make use of tools we’ve developed with partners to help you with this process:
- Our DACA renewal calculator can help you identify when you have to submit your DACA renewal application based on the recommendation by USCIS to apply 120 to 150 days prior to your current DACA and work permit expiration date.
- Our “FAQ: USCIS Is Accepting DACA Renewal Applications” includes the most recent information we have on DACA renewal processing. If your DACA expires in more than 150 days and you’re considering applying early, you can find a list of pros and cons to consider under “I am interested in applying to renew my DACA. Does it matter when my DACA expires or expired?” We encourage DACA recipients to review this FAQ as they consider whether and when to apply for renewal.
- If you’ve applied for DACA and are experiencing delays in the processing of your application, there’s also a list of “Steps to Take if Your DACA Renewal Is Delayed.”
The choice to apply for renewal is not one you have to make alone. We recommend that DACA recipients talk to accredited legal service providers first and, if they choose to apply, to consider renewing their DACA very soon. The Supreme Court will issue its decision about DACA no later than June of this year, and it could come as early as later this month (January)
As you consider renewing your DACA, remember: we will always stand alongside immigrant youth, who are a critical part of the fight for immigrants’ rights. We are committed to reporting the latest updates and recommendations, and we encourage you to sign up to receive our emails (sign up on any page of www.nilc.org) and follow us on social media to receive real-time updates. Stay informed as we continue this fight together.
Ignacia Rodriguez is NILC’s immigration policy advocate. Diana Pliego is a NILC policy associate and a DACA recipient.