When President Donald Trump announced the phasing out of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, current recipients whose DACA expired before March 5 were allowed to re-apply. All across the country, people rushed to send in their applications before the unreasonable October 5 deadline. But in New York, the applications of at least 40 young immigrants may have been sent out in vain.
Today, the New York Immigration Coalition announced several DACA recipients who filed applications for renewal “well in advance” of the deadline were “erroneously denied.” Camille Mackler, Director of Immigration Legacy Policy at NYIC, said the organization’s lawyers and their clients “did everything in their power” to meet the deadline. She says there is a “clear pattern of gross negligence” or a “systemic attempt” to enact Trump’s anti-immigration agenda.
She calls on US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Postal Service and the Department of Homeland Security to rectify the issue by accepting all applications postmarked before October 5. Hasan Shafiqullah, who serves as attorney-in-charge at the Immigration Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society, believes the denials were planned.
“These rejections are neither isolated nor coincidental but rather appear to be calculated, and are in line with this administration’s ongoing xenophobic campaign to marginalize and disenfranchise immigrants,” Shafiqullah said in a press release.
Lawyers at the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative have records from USPS that show the paperwork was mailed on time but did not reach USCIS until after deadline.
Some applications may have sat at USPS’ Chicago Distribution Center up to 20 days before being delivered to USCIS after deadline. Another USPS tracking record shows a DACA filing in transit to Chicago on September 23 and arriving 14 days later at the Chicago Distribution Center. 33 of at least 40 rejections are a result of mail delivery delays.