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Newhouse urges extension for DACA permit renewal

In this file photo taken Aug. 5, 2014, congressional candidate Dan Newhouse smiles after learning that he was one of the top two finishers in the congressional primary, in Yakima. (Gordon King / Yakima Herald-Republic)
In this file photo taken Aug. 5, 2014, congressional candidate Dan Newhouse smiles after learning that he was one of the top two finishers in the congressional primary, in Yakima. (Gordon King / Yakima Herald-Republic)
By Richard Byrd Columbia Basin Herald (Moses Lake)

WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Yakima, is urging the Department of Homeland Security to change the renewal deadline for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program beneficiaries.

People who currently benefit from DACA, which protects people who entered the U.S. illegally as a minor from deportation, are facing a strict Oct. 5 deadline for permit renewal. In response, Newhouse, along with Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Virginia, and other colleagues, sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Elaine Duke asking her to extend the permit renewal deadline to Jan. 18, 2018, or until Congress has time to examine a legislative solution.

“The fast-approaching deadline to renew their status will place thousands of Dreamers in legal limbo unless a workable solution is put in place,” Newhouse said. “I join my colleagues in requesting that the administration provide additional flexibility for Dreamers while Congress works on a legislative solution.”

In early September the Trump administration announced its plan to phase out DACA in six months, which gave lawmakers on Capitol Hill time to come up with a legislative solution. In their letter to Duke, the lawmakers contend the Oct. 5 deadline for DACA permit renewal is an arbitrary date and places an “undue” financial burden on several “law-abiding” people in the program.

In total, there are about 800,000 people covered by DACA nationwide, 18,000 of whom live in Washington. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimates 154,000 DACA recipients, often referred to as “Dreamers,” have DACA permit expiration dates between Sept. 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018.

“Your recent announcement gives these 154,000 only a few short weeks to submit their DACA renewal applications. The artificial October 5th deadline to submit 154,000 DACA renewal applications is unworkable and impractical,” reads the letter to Duke.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson previously announced 15 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA. The lawsuit states the decision to end DACA violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and is motivated by discriminatory malice, stemming from, in part, several of Trump’s statements on the campaign with regard to Mexican immigrants.

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