Immigration Law

DACA applications are rejected after arriving late because of lengthy postal delays

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Dozens of immigrants who sought to renew their participation in a deferred-deportation program were surprised to learn that their applications had been rejected because they arrived late.

Lawyers in the New York area cited at least 34 instances in which applications arrived late, and the blame apparently lies with the U.S. Postal Service, the New York Times reports.

One application sent by certified mail on Sept. 14 arrived on Oct. 6. Another sent on Sept. 21 arrived on Oct. 9. They are among at least 21 applications that arrived late after processing in Chicago, according to U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois.

The U.S. Postal Services has acknowledged an “unintentional temporary mail processing delay in the Chicago area.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has three intake locations, and one is in Chicago.

A spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services tells the New York Times that it’s not responsible for the mail service, and there is no right of appeal.

The immigrants were seeking to renew their protected status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which is being wound down by the Trump administration. DACA provides work permits for people brought here illegally as children and protects them from deportation. Under the wind-down, immigrants with two-year work permits obtained before March 5, 2018, will be allowed to keep them until they expire.

The ABA has called for passage of legislation to extend protections for DACA immigrants who meet certain requirements.

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