When President Donald Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, he created a March 5th deadline to signal the end of protections, in an attempt to give Congress enough time to propose a solution. With the deadline less than a month away, there is still no such agreement in sight.
There currently is no date when protections will actually expire for the nearly 700,000 DACA recipients. The president mentioned the March 5th deadline in a tweet on Monday.
“Any deal on DACA that does not include STRONG border security and the desperately needed WALL is a total waste of time. March 5th is rapidly approaching and the Dems seem not to care about DACA. Make a deal!”
Proposed by Trump in September, the original plan was that the Department of Homeland Security would phase out DACA by allowing the two-year protections and work permits issued under the program to expire without any chance to renew them. But the administration lets anyone with permits which expired before March 5th receive a one-month window toward renewal, resting their two-year clock.
However, 20,000 of the 150,000 eligible to renew failed to do so. They were either unable to complete the paperwork, pay the $500 fee, flat-out rejected, or unwilling to trust the government with their personal data and enroll once again. To further complicate matters, several rejections were later reopened after DHS discovered that thousands may have had their applications lost in the mail or delivered on time but received a rejection as late.
Additionally, a federal court judge issued an order stopping Trump’s plan to get rid of DACA entirely back in January, and DHS has since resumed processing applications for renewals for all recipients who had protections in September. While renewals are being accepted, it could be months before they’re actually issued. According to DHS, recipients generally wait up to four months for applications to be processed.