Rosen Joins Effort Urging USCIS to Protect DACA Recipients and Swiftly Process Their Renewal Applications Following Reports of Delays

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) joined an effort urging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director (USCIS) Ur M. Jaddou to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and process renewal applications in a timely manner. Many applicants for DACA renewal have reported waiting well over five months for their applications to be processed this fiscal year. To reduce these disruptions and uncertainty for DACA recipients, Rosen and her fellow Senators urged USCIS to make a “focused effort” to reduce pending cases and processing times for DACA renewal applications. 

They also requested that USCIS start an approved renewal applicant’s DACA period on the date of expiration of the previous period, rather than the current practice of starting the renewal period from the date of approval, to prevent undue harm to DACA recipients and mirror USCIS’ approach for managing the renewal or extension of other immigration benefits.

“The DACA program has allowed more than 834,000 Dreamers an opportunity to pursue higher education and meaningful careers while remaining in the only home they have ever known. We thank you for your efforts to fortify the DACA program through rulemaking and for the Department of Homeland Security’s defense of that rule in litigation,” wrote the Senators. “Despite these important efforts, DACA recipients face significant uncertainty given litigation challenging the DACA program… Delays in processing DACA renewals are adding to the instability and uncertainty that DACA recipients already face each day.”

The Senators cited various ways DACA recipients, their employers, and their families are facing significant disruptions due to these processing delays. In addition, DACA recipients accrue unlawful presence during the period between the expiration of their status and USCIS’ adjudication of their renewal applications, even when they apply well in advance of that expiration. This can have significant negative consequences for them, including potentially making them ineligible for other benefits under our immigration laws.

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.

Senator Rosen has been a leader in the fight for DACA and TPS recipients. She has also repeatedly called for a legislative fix to protect DACA recipients and provide them a path to citizenship. At the end of the 117th Congress, Senator Rosen gave a floor speech urging her Senate colleagues to take immediate, standalone action to permanently protect Dreamers while simultaneously continuing to work to pass comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship. Last week, she also applauded the news that, following her push, USCIS increased the automatic extension period for work permits from 180 days to 540 days to account for USCIS’ significant delays in processing renewal applications for work permits. And after a Rosen-backed push last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended Temporary Protected Status designation for El Salvador and Honduras.