DACA Renewal Deadline Looms for Thousands

October 04, 2017 11:39 PM

In less than 24 hours, thousands of people covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have to have applied to renew their work status.

It's a deadline that could have dire consequences if missed.

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"Over the last month, we've probably done a dozen or more workshops ... trying to help people understand that it is still possible to renew," John Keller of the Immigrant Law Center said.

RELATED: DACA Explained: Things to Know About the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program

Keller said there are roughly 1,000 people who must undergo the renewal process. Keller said his group has reviewed over a hundred applications over the last 30 days.

"Only DACA recipients whose work cards expire between September 5th and March 5th, 2018 have the ability to renew," Keller said.

Recertifying their status allows immigrants two more years of protection under DACA. DACA recipient have until Thursday to, "properly file their renewal request and associated application for employment authorization to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services," according to a Department of Homeland Security statement.

RELATED: Minnesota Officials, Organizations React to Decision to End DACA

Nadia Barrientos moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was eleven. She said her life in the U.S. felt threatened after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of DACA.

Barrientos said once she got the notice, she filled out paperwork to renew her status.

"I send it off and I'm, like really relived," she said. "I feel really, like not a stressed as I used too."

Congress now has six months to provide a replacement for DACA.

ABC contributed to this report.

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Todd Wilson

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