The deadline for Dreamers to submit their applications to renew their DACA status was last month on October 5th, and some of those Dreamers thought that they had met the final deadline. However, some of the applications got stuck in the mail and arrived late. The Trump administration is now saying that it will reconsider some applications that were incorrectly rejected, even though they were mailed before the deadline. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency that processes DACA renewals, at least 4,000 applications were rejected for barely missing the deadline, out of more than 130,000 renewal applications. Joshua Rosenthal, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, stated:
The simplest way that this could’ve been avoided would’ve been for the government to apply the rule that it applies in many other circumstances, which is called the mailbox rule, which goes by the date of the postmark.
It’s not yet clear how many of the DACA applications were rejected incorrectly, but immigrant rights advocates claim that they have encountered dozens of cases and the real number could be in the thousands. USCIS says it will reconsider renewal applications that were rejected, on the condition that applicants can show “individualized proof” that the application arrived late as “the result of USPS mail service error.” In cases where the rejected application arrived at the post office box on time, USCIS says it will “proactively reach out” to the applicants to let them resubmit. Lawyers representing DACA applicants say deadline issues weren’t the only problem, because there were also clerical mistakes such as one application that was rejected due to a bureaucrat believing that the applicant wrote 2012 on the check instead of 2017. This is definitely good news for applicants that were rejected due to postal issues.