Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Number of Dreamers With DACA Protections Declining, Even Though DACA Renewal Rates Remain High
Press Statement

RELEASE: Number of Dreamers With DACA Protections Declining, Even Though DACA Renewal Rates Remain High

Press Contacts

  • Rafael Medina

Washington, D.C. — As the U.S. Supreme Court declined for now to take up the Trump administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) challenge, a new column takes a closer look at how many young immigrants have successfully renewed DACA applications and forecasts near-term renewal rates.

Since lower courts reopened the renewal process last year, nearly 323,000 Dreamers who have or once had DACA have applied to renew their status—as of December 31, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has granted renewal to more than 276,000 applicants, denied renewal to nearly 2,000 applicants, and left 45,000 renewal applications pending.

Yet, even considering these relatively high renewal rates, the number of Dreamers with active DACA has declined—from a post-injunction peak of 704,000 in July 2018 to 687,000 as of December 31, 2018—and nearly 5,000 individuals with pending renewals have already seen their DACA expire, leaving them without protection.

The column reveals that only a small share of DACA recipients with upcoming expiration dates have submitted their renewal applications within the 120-day to 150-day time period USCIS recommends. The situation is especially pressing for the 47,000 DACA recipients with protections that expire in January, February, and March, while an additional 291,000 young immigrants with DACA expirations before the end of the year are at risk of losing their protections if they don’t renew.

“DACA is a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants and their families,” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “And in ending it, the Trump administration left them out in the cold. The renewal process remains open, and it is crucial for DACA recipients to do so—because until Congress passes a Dream Act, it remains their only option for protection.”

Click here to read: “Supreme Court Declines to Take Up Trump Administration’s DACA Challenge—For Now” by Nicole Prchal Svajlenka

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For more information or to speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Rafael Medina at rjmedina@americanprogress.org or 202-478-5313.