There are only a few hours remaining until immigration authorities will stop accepting renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, however, tens of thousands have yet to do so.
President Trump initially announced an end to DACA last month, but then decided that he’d “revisit” it if Congress can’t fix it within six months. Roughly 800,000 people have qualified through DACA for two-year permits to remain in the U.S. without threat of deportation and work legally, get an education, or serve in the military.
Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2017
At that time, those who benefitted from DACA but had their deferred status expire on or before March 5th were given until October 5th to renew their status. A significant chunk have chosen not to.
According to the Daily Caller:
Of the approximately 154,000 DACA recipients who were eligible to apply for a two-year extension of their protections, about 42,500 had yet to do so as of Wednesday.
Implemented by the Obama administration in 2012, the DACA program gives certain illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a reprieve from deportation and the ability to apply for work permits. About 790,00 people have received protection under the program, which will officially end on March 6.
Activists have also accused DHS of misleading DACA recipients about how much time they would have to reapply. Before Sept. 5, some program beneficiaries received letters reminding them that they had 180 more days to renew their status, but DHS did not send out follow-up letters to warn those people that they would miss the Oct. 5 deadline if they waited that long.
However, DHS did issue a multiple reminders on its website about the impending deadline, while about 58,000 DACA recipients had applied for renewal before the administration announced it was ending the program.
At midnight tonight, the Trump administration officially begins to unravel the Obama-era program.
Work permits issued under the program begin to expire on March 5, and starting on Friday cannot be renewed. All protections under the program will be stripped away on a rolling basis over the next 2 1/2 years, as two-year deferrals expire.
It’s unclear what those who have not renewed their status have in mind. Are they looking to go completely “undocumented,” or are they planning on self-deporting?