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Today, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) sent a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, informing her of our disappointment in the Trump Administration’s decision to rescind DACA, and pressing for an extension for the DACA permit renewal to at least January 15, 2018, rather than the current unworkable deadline of October 5, 2017. The letter is supported by NPNA’s 31 member and 16 affiliated organizations.

Here’s the full letter:

September 11, 2017

Dear Acting Secretary Duke,

We are writing to express our profound disappointment at the administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and to urgently request a meeting. Although we deeply disagree with the decision to terminate DACA, we write about one aspect in the implementation of this decision. At NPNA we believe that the decision to require all DACA recipients whose permission expires in the next six months to have their renewal submitted by October 5 is a deadline that is arbitrary, unworkable, and cruel. It will result in tens of thousands of current DACA holders losing their legal status, protections from deportation, and ability to work legally and contribute to our nation. We ask to meet with you to discuss several policy recommendations concerning the implementation of this decision.

The National Partnership of New Americans (NPNA) is composed of 37 immigrant and refugee advocacy organizations across the United States with a long history of working with your department. Our members provide a range of immigrant integration services, from financial literacy and language training to workforce development and naturalization. Our mission is to promote and enhance immigrant integration economically, linguistically, socially, and civically into the fabric of our country.

As a result of the administration’s decision, close to 800,000 DACA recipients now face an uncertain future. 97% of DACA beneficiaries are employed or in school, paying taxes, and contributing to our economy. Ending it will cost an estimated 700,000 jobs and over $2 billion a year in tax revenue. It will force highly productive, skilled workers underground, harming US businesses and impoverishing our communities. This is why DACA has overwhelming support among employers, educators, political and faith leaders, and voters. The decision to rescind DACA is disruptive to our economy and devastating to these youth who have done nothing wrong.

As you know, DACA was instituted by the previous administration as a band-aid solution until Congress found the will to act. While we understand your desire to push Congress to act on this matter, relying on Congress to address the impact of the DACA rescission does nothing to address the immediate impact and significant burden of the October 5th deadline on current DACA recipients, their families and their employers and those legal and community organizations working to support them.”

According to USCIS, 154,000 DACA beneficiaries have expiration dates between September 5, 2017 and March 5th, 2018. Your recent announcement gives all 154,000 of these youth until October 5, 2017 to submit their DACA renewal applications. The artificial October 5 deadline to submit 154,000 DACA renewal applications is unworkable and impractical. It will result in tens of thousands of current DACA holders missing the deadline due to lack of information, resources, or legal capacity to assist with application renewals. There are many practical reasons to extend the deadline, allowing a public information campaign to properly inform the youth of this sudden and unexpected change.

The actual effect of this Oct. 5 deadline is that there must be 5,433 applications filed every single day, including weekends, if the 154,000 current DACA holders whose permissions expire over the next six months are to be able to apply to renew their DACA. This would mean 214 applications must be filed every single hour, all night long, for 30 days. This is a very limited timeline for organizations like ours to locate and inform these DACA youth and assist them. Many DACA recipients will not have saved for the unexpected $495 expense. The October 5 deadline is simply unworkable.

The result of this impractical deadline is that tens of thousands of DACA recipients will lose their status, their jobs, their homes, and their security and be pushed back into the shadows from which they had once proudly emerged.

In the wake of this decision NPNA respectfully requests that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

1) Meet with NPNA leadership and immigration advocates to discuss the implementation of the policy change;

2) Extend the deadline for deferred action renewal to, minimally, January 5, 2018;

3) Inform each DACA recipient across the country, by registered letter, of the change in U.S. policy and of registration requirements and deadlines; and,

4) Establish tables at all DHS / USCIS offices for the final week before the deadline, to receive completed DACA Applications with time stamps and receipts, to facilitate renewal submission and minimize chaos during the final crush before the deadline.

Given the devastating consequences of the October 5 deadline for DACA renewal applications we urge you to respond to these requests in an expedited manner, and look forward to engaging with you and your colleagues on this critical issue.

Respectfully submitted,

NPNA Executive Committee

Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition;
Co-Chair, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
Steven Choi, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)
Co-Chair, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica, Washington State
Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director, National Partnership for New Americans

CC: Mr. James McCament, Acting Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
CC: Ms. Veronica Venture, Acting Officer, DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)

NPNA Member Organizations supporting this letter:

NPNA Member Organizations

Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Arkansas United Community Coalition
Causa (OR)
Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC)
Comunidades Unidas (UT)
El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos (NM)
Florida Immigrant Rights Coalition (FLIC)
Global Cleveland (OH)
Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA)
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
Junta for Progressive Action (CT)
Latin American Coalition (NC)
Maine People’s Alliance
Make the Road (NY, NJ, PA)
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) (NH, MA)
Michigan United
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
Nebraska Appleseed
New York Immigration Coalition
OneAmerica (WA)
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Promise Arizona
Somos Un Pueblo Unido (NM)
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)
Texas Organizing Project
The Resurrection Project (IL)
Voces de la Frontera (WI)

Affiliated Immigrant Rights Coalitions

Consejo de Federaciones Mexicianas (COFEM) (CA)
Services, Immigrant Rights, and Education Network (SIREN) (CA)
Sunflower Community Action (KS)
Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA)
Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR)
Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN)
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI)
Montana Organizing Project (MOP)
New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrant Rights (NHAIR-MIRA)
El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) (OR)
Workers Defense Project (TX)
People’s Action
Center for Community Change
Movement of Immigrants in America (MIA)