April 02, 2024


“These delays threaten the livelihood of many DACA recipients, with many potentially losing their work authorization or their ability to hold a valid driver’s license.”

SANTA ANA, Calif. Today, Representative Lou Correa (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Border Security and Enforcement Subcommittee, led 100+ of his colleagues in a letter to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Ur M. Jaddou to raise concern over delays in processing renewal applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, and call for the agency to begin providing automatic extensions for lawful recipients in the interim. 

“Many of our offices have heard from constituents that the increased [USCIS] backlog has resulted in many DACA recipients waiting several months to hear back,” the members wrote. “These delays threaten the ability of many DACA recipients to work, drive, or go to school.”

There are an estimated 554,000 DACA recipients nationwide, with 154,000 in California and nearly 100,000 in Texas alone, who are potentially affected by this backlog. USCIS recommends DACA recipients submit a renewal application 120-150 days before their expiration date, but some individuals have been waiting for months, with cases as far back as August 2023, to receive updates on their renewal requests.

“We commend the agency’s support of the DACA program, and we urge you to prioritize and quickly resolve this matter so that DACA recipients can continue to contribute to our economy and communities,” they added. “We ask that you dedicate the appropriate resources to this process, to ensure that renewals can be processed in a timely manner.”

Currently, DACA recipients do not receive an automatic extension while their renewal applications are pending. They depend on USCIS provided processing times and status updates to avoid losing their jobs. In their letter, the members ask, while the processing backlog is being addressed, that “USCIS […] work on providing DACA recipients with the automatic extension that a majority of individuals receive upon submitting a valid application for the renewal of their employment authorization.”

Led by Correa, this letter was co-signed by over half of the House Democratic Caucus, including: Representatives Collin Allred (D-TX), Gabe Amo (D-RI), Becca Balint (D-VT), Nanette Díaz Barragán (D-CA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cori Bush (D-MO), Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), André Carson (D-IN), Troy Carter (D-LA), Greg Casar (D-TX), Sean Caster (D-IL) Kathy Castor (D-FL), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), Yvette Clark (D-NY), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Jason Crow (D-CO), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Danny Davis (D-IL), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Veronica Escobar (D-TX), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Bil Foster (D-IL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Chuy García (D-IL), Robert Garcia (D-CA), Sylvia Garia (D-TX), Daniel Goldman (D-NY), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Al Green (D-TX),Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Josh Harder (D-CA) Jahana Hayes (D-CT), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jeff Jackson (D-NC), Jonathan Jackson (D-IL), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Summer Lee, (D-PA), Mike Levin (D-CA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rob Menendez (D-NJ), Grace Meng (D-NY), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Kevin Mullin (D-CA), Jerrod Nadler (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ), Scott Peters (D-CA), Brittany Pettersen (D-CO), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Katie Porter (D-CA), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Delia Ramirez (D-IL), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Deborah Ross (D-NC) Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Andrea Salinas (D-CA), Linda Sánchez (D-CA), Mary Scanlon (D-PA), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Smith (D-WA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Greg Stanton (D-AZ), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Marilyn Strickland (D-WA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Shri Thanedar (D-MI), Dina Titus (D-NV), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Norma Torres (D-CA), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Lori Trahan (D-MA), David Trone (D-MD), Lauren Underwood (D-IL), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL).

This letter has also been endorsed by several immigration advocacy organizations, including: Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Church World Service (CWS), National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), United We Dream, and Immigrants Act Now.

You can read the full text of the letter HERE.