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Polis leads over 60 members of Congress demanding that DACA applications and renewals be processed swiftly
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., is leading over 60 members of Congress in demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) process initial requests for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) that were filed prior to the Sept. 2017 termination - as well as all renewals filed since that date - as expeditiously as possible.
Federal courts have recently stated that DHS must continue to process DACA renewal requests, but the timing of these decisions, coupled with increased agency processing times, could lead to tens of thousands of current beneficiaries of the program to experience lapses in their ability to work lawfully - as well as lapses in their protections from deportation. There are nearly 20,000 pending DACA requests that were filed before the Sept. 2017 announcement, as well as nearly 30,000 pending renewal applications, according to data provided by USCIS.
“The Dept. of Homeland Security is sewing anxiety and putting tens of thousands of dreamers at unnecessary risk by failing to process DACA renewal requests in a timely manner. The agency must dedicate greater resources to processing these requests immediately,” said Polis. “I’m calling on them to do their job, and process initial DACA requests and renewals as quickly as possible - I’m also continuing to push for Congress to do its job and pass a permanent solution for dreamers. We can’t allow dreamers to fall victim to Washington dysfunction and political games.”
The letter reads, in part:
“These requests have been pending for at least six months, and we are deeply concerned that USCIS is intentionally delaying processing these applications and putting these potential beneficiaries at risk of deportation by not processing them in a timely manner.”
Since the announcement that the Trump administration will terminate DACA, Polis has directed his staff to help as many DACA recipients renew as possible. The staff has participated in several renewal clinics in Boulder and Fort Collins.
Polis has been a consummate champion for fixing our broken immigration system to align with American values since joining Congress. In October 2013, he introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a bill that would have improved national security, streamlined our country’s guest worker system, and created a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented individuals. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would have reduced the deficit by nearly $200 billion over ten years. The Senate companion of this landmark bill passed in June 2013 and was widely heralded as one of the most significant attempts at comprehensive immigration reform in decades. He is also the co-chair of the Congressional Mexico Friendship Caucus.
Prior to serving in Congress, Polis founded The New America School - a network of charter schools in several states serving new immigrants and English-language learners.
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