More than 100,000 young undocumented immigrants — nearly 69 percent of those eligible — have already applied to renew their work permits.
Despite pleas from advocates in hurricane-ravaged Texas and Florida, the federal government did not extend the deadline to accommodate immigrants in those areas who may have had difficulty gathering the necessary paperwork and $495 fee. However, administration officials will accept late filings on a case-by-case basis from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, themselves recently devastated by a hurricane.
As of Tuesday, 106,000 of the 154,000 immigrants eligible for renewals had applied, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Most of the applicants — about 58,000 — made their filings before Sessions announced the ending of the program. That number that was not publicly known last month when advocates began a frantic effort to help people renew.
Since Sept. 5, about 48,000 more DACA recipients have applied for renewals. More applications were expected to land Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, aided by millions of dollars in donations to help pay the renewal fees.
There was a happy-hour fundraiser in Brooklyn and a bake sale in Texas. United We Dream, the country’s largest immigrant-youth-led organization, raised enough to help 1,367 people pay for their applications. In San Francisco, the nonprofit Mission Asset Fund raised $3.8 million and was still handing out checks to DACA applicants Tuesday.
“We’re trying to get as many as possible out,” said Tara Robinson, chief development officer for the organization, which has helped nearly 5,000 immigrants with their renewal applications in the past month.
Federal officials said they did not know what happened to the remaining 48,000 eligible DACA recipients who had not filed their renewal applications by Tuesday.
DACA transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, allowing them to work legally, attend college, drive and, in some cases, buy homes.