NEW YORK - Immigration advocates want eligible Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to know the deadline to renew their applications is Thursday, October 5.
But out of fear, thousands have not done it.
The Department of Homeland Security stopped accepting new applications after President Donald Trump on September 5 announced the eventual end of the program, but existing recipients with permits that expire on or before March 5, 2018, remain eligible to apply for renewal.
The administration announced the plan to continue accepting applications for renewal in order to give Congress time to act before any currently protected individuals lose their ability to work, study and live without fear in the US.
Locally, workers with Make The Road New York in Jackson Heights are busy helping applicants ahead of the deadline, which DHS announced earlier this week would not be extended.
"There's a lot of anxiety," legal advocate David Haro said. "A lot of our clients have jobs, stable lives, and they're worried about being destabilized."
Federal immigration officials provided the nationwide statistics on renewal figures before and after the president's announcement. Before September 5, there were 58,000 renewal applications, and there have been 54,000 just in the last month. Approximately 42,000 eligible Dreamers have yet to apply.
"We are trying everything we can to reach out to everybody who is eligible to renew," immigration attorney Yasmine Farhang said. "And we will be doing those final applications until the end of the day (Wednesday) so we can overnight those applications and have them received by USCIS (Thursday)."
Dreamers must have their application submitted to federal authorities by Thursday, and accepted applications grant Dreamers another two years of deferred action that allows them to continue their education or employment.