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First DACA Deadline Could Affect Thousands of Dreamers

The October 5th deadline for the renewal of the DACA program has arrived and there are still over 45,000 eligible unauthorized immigrant applicants who have yet to renew their immigration status as a part of the program.

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established in 2012 by the Obama administration as an American immigration policy which qualified some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or stayed in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit.

The Trump administration announced the repeal of the DACA program at the beginning of September this year. No new applicants were accepted after the announcement on Sept. 5 and renewals were only being accepted until October 5th, for qualifying categories of recipients. If legal action is not taken, the 800,000 DACA beneficiaries could begin to lose benefits on March 6, 2018. 

Of 154,200 recipients whose DACA status will expire between Sept. 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018, just over 106,000 either have renewal requests currently pending with the federal immigration agency or have already had their renewal requests adjudicated, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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Failing to renew their status past the indicated deadline will put the remaining 48,000 current qualifying recipients at a vulnerable state and higher risk of potential deportation. On Tuesday, DHS announced that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would be accepting renewal applications for people from the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after Oct. 5th on a case-by-case basis, considering the current catastrophic state of the islands.