Local DACA recipients struggle to meet renewal deadline
By John Krinjak
Thursday is the deadline for DACA recipients to apply to renew their status, but many in our area haven't done so.
When President Trump announced the end of DACA--which protects young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children--he allowed recipients whose status expires by March 5th to apply for a two-year renewal.
The catch--they had to file that application by Thursday.
Advocates say with little notice and a $500 application fee, it's been difficult for many to get the proper paperwork together in time.
"So of course it's really hard to get the word out to 800-thousand people in less than 30 days and telling them you need to get this application done, you need to see a lawyer if you have to. That's really difficult to do in 30 days. And with no formal notice from DHS-they didn't mail anything out-it's really hard to get that word out," said DACA recipient and local immigration activist Rodrigo Pimentel.
The Rhode Island Center for Justice estimates nearly 100 percent of about 300 eligible recipients have gotten help from local organizations to process their applications, but many more did the renewal on their own.
Still, officials think about 25% of eligible so-called Dreamers in Rhode Island will not meet the deadline.