RELEASE: 157,000 DACA Recipients Could Lose Their Protections if They Do Not Renew Before an Expected Supreme Court Decision

Washington, D.C — Today, almost a month before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments over the Trump administration’s actions to end DACA, the Center for American Progress published an analysis of data on DACA renewals over the past two years that charts the need for renewal over the next 15 months. While renewals remain open and the approval rate remains high, recipients keep waiting until closer to their DACA’s expiration date to apply for extensions.

According to the column, only 27 percent of people whose protections are set to expire next January have applied for renewal. The percentage is even smaller for those with February 2020 expirations, at only 14 percent. This is happening despite U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) recommendation that DACA recipients submit their renewal applications about five months—120 to 150 days—before their protections expire.

Here are a few of the key findings of the column, which analyzed data through September 30, 2019:

    • More than 616,000 DACA recipients have applied for renewal since the injunctions reopened the renewal process in January 2018.
    • Approval rates remain high: 94 percent of all applications submitted have been adjudicated; of those, 99.2 percent have been approved and 0.8 percent have been denied.
    • There are three key timelines to consider on DACA renewals: now through the end of 2019, now until the Supreme Court issues a ruling (likely in June 2020), and January through December 2020.
    • 31,850 DACA recipients with expirations before the end of the year have yet to renew, including 12,600 individuals with October expirations.
    • Between now and the end of June 2020, 157,000 DACA recipients will need to apply to renew their protections.

The high cost of renewalfear of providing information to a Trump administration agency that has been the face of increased enforcement and deportation; and general uncertainty about the future of the initiative are some of the reasons causing individuals to wait until closer to their DACA’s expiration date to complete the paperwork. However, it should be noted that anyone applying for renewal would see their protections from deportation and work authorization extended until 2021.

“Despite confusion, DACA recipients can and should consider renewing their protections. The decision on when to renew one’s DACA has many factors, but advocates and service providers throughout the country are ready and waiting to help these individuals think through them,” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. “The Trump administration created this problem by ending DACA. They’re now punting the work to the Supreme Court, which we hope will reaffirm the decisions of multiple lower courts that the termination of DACA was unlawful.”

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