According to CBS News, the Biden Administration is currently assigning more immigration officers to review DACA applications in response to a massive backlog of petitions. In addition, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed Congress that it will provide public resources to prospective applicants in order to reduce processing times and help current beneficiaries renew their deportation deferrals and work permits.
Out of over 62,000 first-time DACA applications submitted by undocumented immigrant teenagers and young adults since the program reopened in December 2020, USCIS has only adjudicated 1,900 of them as of May 31, 2021. At the end of June, the backlog of pending first-time DACA applications had increased to more than 81,000 petitions, which is a 48 percent increase from late March.
Unexpected technical issues, delays for biometrics appointments, and training or retraining time have resulted in significant delays in the application process. Furthermore, a federal judge in Texas may suspend or shut down the program for more than two years in a pending case, which has alarmed both first-time applicants and current recipients.
Despite the issues surrounding the program, USCIS said it fixed a “technical problem” that caused delays in validating government-issued “alien registration numbers” for DACA applicants. Also, the agency met insufficient staffing levels caused by fiscal challenges by shifting resources.
USCIS has also expedited the biometric process and sent many first-time applicants requests for evidence for eligibility purposes. In order to qualify for DACA, you must arrive in the U.S. before turning 16 years old, you have been living in the U.S. since at least 2007, you have not been convicted of a serious crime, you have earned or are earning a high school diploma, GED, or serving the military.
Currently, nearly 620,0000 immigrants are enrolled in DACA. Beneficiaries must renew their status every two years.
If you are interested in applying for DACA or renewing your protections in Arizona, contact Kanu & Associates, P.C. today at (602) 353-7795 for a case review. Our Phoenix immigration firm has more than two decades of legal experience!