In what can only be described as a ‘worst nightmare’, several Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients filing renewal paperwork were denied due to delayed mail delivery. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) refused to consider applications received after the deadline of October 5th, regardless of when the applications were sent, issuing automatic denials. Many immigration advocates pointed to a previous application deadline in 2001, which only had a postmark requirement.
According to New York Times reporting, at least 34 DACA recipients were rejected due to a United States Postal Service (USPS) delay in the Chicago area. One particular example detailed in the story is an application being sent from New York on September 14th, arriving in Chicago on September 16th, but not being delivered until October 6th, a day after the deadline. The USPS has apologized, but USCIS has only stated that they are not responsible and will not consider the delayed applications.
Affected DACA recipients will lose their protected status as soon as their permit expires. Legislation to address the status of the so-called Dreamers is currently stalled in Congress. In some cases, DACA recipients may have another avenue to legal status in the United States. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help identify potential avenues for visas and permanent residency. Call 888-517-9888 for a free immigration consultation.