DACA recipients encouraged to renew status at upcoming workshop


Photography courtesy of the New York Daily News – Protesters rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., as hearings begin over whether or not the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will end. With a decision expected early next year, groups are pushing for those currently enrolled in the program to renew their status. The local office of RAICES will be holding a workshop on Friday, Dec. 6, where they will offer free consultations to those looking to renew.

The local office of RAICES will host a renewal workshop for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status on Friday, Dec. 6, from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Garcia Arts & Education Center.

The workshop comes as the Supreme Court hears arguments in regards to the program that could determine whether the initiative, which has helped hundreds of thousands of teens and young adults work and study in the U.S. since its implementation, comes to an end.

According to Beatriz Alvarado, community organizer for the local RAICES office, the renewals will help recipients maintain their DACA status for at least two years even if the program is struck down. According to Alvarado, the uncertain status of the program prompted the workshop. “Really, right now, it’s just about getting as many people to renew as possible,” Alvarado said.

Immigration attorneys will be present at the workshop to help walk attendees through the renewal process. While consultations will be free of charge, attendees will need to provide the $495 fee required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a money order.

Attendees looking to renew must also bring a Texas ID card or driver license, Social Security card, work authorization card, two passport-style photos, a copy of their initial DACA and/or prior application. If applicable, they must also provide any last approval notices and any certified court dispositions of all arrests, if any. Alvarado estimates the process would be about an hour.

The DACA program was introduced under the presidency of Barack Obama in June of 2012 and offered a temporary protected status from deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16. In addition, the program gave applicants access to work authorization, as well as the ability to apply for a Social Security number, according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

The Trump Administration rescinded the program in 2017, an action that was later blocked in a 2018 nationwide order by U.S. District Judge William Alsup of San Francisco, according to the Los Angeles Times. Judges in New York and Washington, D.C. followed suit and the 9th District Court in San Francisco affirmed Alsup’s order. This set the stage for the Supreme Court to take up the case on Nov. 12 of this year, with a decision not expected until early next year.

Losing the program may also prove to be detrimental economically. According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the estimated 1.3 billion that are either eligible or enrolled in the DACA program contribute an estimated $1.7 billion a year in state and local taxes. In addition, repealing their temporary status and work authorization would reduce state and local coffers by an estimated $815 million, and drop total contributions to just over $1 billion annually.

In the face of this, a coalition of immigrant advocate groups and legal centers launched the Home is Here campaign, which aims to fight to keep DACA as well as connect those currently in the program to resources to help them to renew. According to Alvarado, many DACA recipients have no other recourse to attain citizenship should the program go away. It’s with that in mind, and in the spirit of the Home is Here campaign, that the local office is pushing to hold the upcoming workshop. “That’s why DACA’s so important,” Alvarado said. “That’s why there were walkouts. That’s why there were protests throughout the nation. It’s huge.”



WHEN: Friday, Dec. 6, 9 AM-5 PM

WHERE: Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center, 2021 Agnes St.


Texas ID card or Driver license

Social Security card

Work authorization card (work permit)

2 passport style photos (2×2 in)

Last approval notice (if applicable)

Money order for $495 (for USCIS)

Copy of initial DACA (and/or prior application)

Certified court disposition of all arrests, if any

MORE INFORMATION AND RSVP: www.facebook.com/events/2427579077511734/