Reps. Luis Gutiérrez [D-IL] and Mike Coffman [R-CO] sent a letter this week to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting a series of important technical fixes to the process for winding down the DACA program. The requests from Reps. Coffman and Gutiérrez are intended to ensure DACA participants are treated fairly, in a transparent manner, and that no one is unduly penalized by the timing of when their current authorization expires.
“These young people, who came out of the shadows to sign up for DACA, did the right thing and the technical fixes that we are proposing will help them as the program winds down,” said Coffman.
“DACA participants have already lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years and gone through multiple detailed background checks for the initial application and renewals, so treating those with DACA with respect and compassion is the least that USCIS can do until such time as Congress enacts legislation to protect DREAMers permanently,” said Rep. Gutiérrez (D-IL), who is a member of the Judiciary Committee and the Chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
The fixes suggested by Gutiérrez and Coffman are as follows:
-Allow individuals whose DACA expired before September 5, 2017 to apply for renewal;
-Accept and process renewal applications postmarked on or before October 5, 2017;
-Do not penalize applicants whose applications are rejected for minor, technical errors;
-For those currently with unexpired DACA, provide two-year grants of deferred action from the date of the expiration of their current DACA grant, instead of the date of approval.