Recently our New Jersey DACA lawyers reported that there was a massive backlog of unprocessed DACA applications since the reinstatement of the program. More than 50,000 new applicants have been waiting since last year to receive DACA benefits, but only 800 applications have been approved. Immigrants and immigrant advocates have voiced concerns about the pace of the program, given that DACA’s legality may be decided by a pending court decision.
Fortunately, this week CBS News reports that Biden has assigned more immigration officers to handle DACA applications. CBS News reports more detailed numbers than the initial findings regarding the backlog.
The backlog of DACA applications includes:
- 81,000 new DACA applications
- Only 1,900 adjudicated
- More than 13,000 DACA renewals pending beyond the 120-day adjudication goal
The issues facing over half a million current DACA recipients is that their benefits are expiring soon (or have already), and delayed renewal could rob them of their work authorization.
If Congress doesn’t pass the American Dream and Promise Act, which contains a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants, then DACA may be the only way forward—and even that is under threat. The state of Texas has petitioned a federal court to suspend DACA or shut it down entirely over the next two years, which would make hundreds of thousands of Dreamers vulnerable to deportation.
USCIS, as we’ve mentioned before on this blog, is facing funding problems largely due to Trump policies that drove away or barred thousands of immigrants from using USCIS services. This has led to staffing shortages that contribute to the backlog today, alongside technical issues like requiring in-person biometric information for first-time applicants.
In the meantime, USCIS is urging DACA applicants to learn all the ways they can help move their case forward as quickly as possible.
If you’re looking for ways to move your case along, your best choice is to call an immigration attorney at The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett Esq., P.C.. Speak with us for a confidential consultation today at (800) 909-8129!