Harder Presses for End to Massive DACA Backlog in New Letter

July 7, 2021
Press Release
Less than 2% of DACA applications were approved by US Citizenship & Immigration Services during most recent period

WASHINGTON — Today, Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) sent a letter to US Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Tracy Renaud pressing for an end to DACA processing delays currently afflicting the agency. During the latest reported period, the agency approved less than 2% of all DACA applications it received. This means that almost 55,000 Dreamers are currently in limbo, waiting for their DACA status to be confirmed.

 

“Dreamers are as American as I am, and they deserve to be treated like it. To leave 55,000 of our neighbors hanging in limbo because of bureaucracy and red tape is just unconscionable,” said Rep. Harder. “Today I’m calling on US Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Renaud to step up and get the job done for our Dreamers. Anything less is unacceptable.”

 

The DACA program allows the almost 200,000 Dreamers in California to obtain drivers licenses, open bank accounts, and find jobs that lead to financial independence. Through this program, Dreamers not only contribute to the Central Valley economy, but they enrich the communities around them.

 

Read the full letter below and online here.

 

Dear Director Renaud,

 

I write today urging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediately address the backlog of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program applications. Without timely approval, DACA applicants are unable to live and work legally in the only country they’ve ever called home.

 

The delay in processing DACA applications—which comes after years of uncertainty for Dreamers and their families —is deeply concerning. Based on a USCIS agency report, only 763 DACA requests have been approved from January to March of this year, meaning less than 2% of all applications received were approved during this time period . These delays have contributed to a backlog of over 55,000 DACA applications pending review and leave some applicants in California waiting almost a year to receive a decision . My constituents have no insight into the status of their pending applications.

 

For the almost 200,000 Dreamers in California, the DACA program allows them to fully participate in our community—to obtain drivers licenses, open bank accounts, and find jobs that lead to financial independence. Through this program, Dreamers not only contribute to the economy, but they enrich the communities around them. They are our friends, our essential workers helping keeping America fed and safe during this pandemic, and they are our family. When rebuilding our economy after this pandemic, we must ensure that Dreamers aren’t left behind and can fully participate in the current recovery.

 

Considering these delays, I demand that the USCIS accelerate the DACA application processing, as well as provide my constituents with an updated timeline for those applications still under review. I look forward to your prompt response.

 

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