Federal government accepting DACA renewal applications again
The federal government announced Saturday that it would again accept applications for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) renewals.
The announcement comes after a federal judge last week issued a court order effectively forcing the Trump administration to resume the program.
For Dreamers — undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — living in the Rio Grande Valley, this is a significant move, said John-Michael Torres, spokesperson for the local advocacy group LUPE.
“We are urging community members that if you had DACA before, to renew as quickly as possible,” he said.
In the Rio Grande Valley, at least 28-thousand people are eligible for DACA, according to data compiled by the University of Southern California.
And they seemingly have the support of local officials.
Today, the Hidalgo county Commissioner’s Court approved a resolution supporting continuing protections under the DACA program.
But other local officials warn that the federal announcement could be short-lived.
"I would highly encourage everybody to take advantage of this right now, because this window -- the way things are in Washington right now -- could open up and shut very quickly,” said Henry Cuellar, U.S Representative for Texas's 28th congressional district."
Cuellar recently met with congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. where he participated in bipartisan negotiations. The topic of DACA is a contentious one, he said.
"There are so many opinions there,” Cuellar added.
If lawmakers cannot come to a budget agreement, a government shutdown could take place this week.
Because of this, local advocacy groups like LUPE, are urging local DACA recipients to act fast.
"There's probably going to be a small window for renewing DACA,” said Torres.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced it will appeal the recent federal decision, according to The Associated Press.
For information on eligibility, you can visit uscis.gov.