Rush for Final DACA Renewals

More than 110,000 young undocumented immigrants, around 72 percent of eligible applicants, have applied to have their work permits renewed before the Thursday deadline set by President Donald Trump on his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program was a signature policy of President Barack Obama.

Although advocates in hurricane-ravaged Florida and Texas have called for an extension of the deadline, as a way to accommodate young immigrants who may have had difficulty coming up with the fee of $495 and with the required paperwork, the federal government has not moved to do so. Late filings, though, will be accepted on a case-by-case basis from the likes of the US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, due to Hurricane Maria, according to administration officials.

On 5 September, Attorney General, Jeff Sessions announced that the DACA program would come to an end, but immigrants who have two-year work permits set to expire on 5 March 2018 were given the opportunity for one final renewal. 112,000 out of 154,000 eligible undocumented young immigrants had already renewed by Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security has revealed. Over 50 percent had done so before the announcement that the program was set to close.

Around 54,000 extra renewal applications have been filed since 5 September, with advocates making frantic attempts to help, and donations in the millions assisting with the payment of renewal fees.