/ Modified apr 14, 2022 9:07 a.m.

DACA recipients can now apply to renew status online

Up until now, that paperwork had to be mailed into the agency and getting a response could take months.

Daca protesters Demonstrators protest in favor of protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients.

Citizenship and Immigration Services will now accept online renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. That's the Obama-era policy that gives some 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children a work permit and temporary protection from deportation.

DACA recipients apply to renew their status every two years, a process that costs almost $500.

Up until now, that paperwork had to be mailed into the agency and getting a response could take months. Phoenix resident Jose Patiño was left without DACA protection a few years ago when his renewal was delayed.

"I just remember how nervous everyday I was, just driving, going to work and checking in with my HR person everyday, and all that anxiety," he said. "I never want to go through that again."

Patiño, who now serves as the director of education and external affairs at Mesa-based immigrant advocacy group Aliento, says not having an expired DACA status can mean a person is no longer allowed to work, or drive in Arizona, and could be subject to deportation. He says that's why he advises people applying for renewal, to do so as early as possible. He hopes the new, online process will make things more secure and streamlined, and cut down on filing mistakes.

But DACA is still just a temporary status with no pathway to citizenship. Patiño says he’s still hoping for a long-term solution from Congress.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona