Donor covers $125,000 in DACA fees for Washington residents

Teresa Garcia, OneAmerica parent leader, and other supporters of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program gathered at El Centro de la Raza earlier this month to protest the Trump administration’s decision to end the program. (Photo by Venice Buhain)

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced that an anonymous donor has pledged to pay $125,000 in fees for Washington residents who need to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status before the application window closes on Oct. 5.

The press release from Inslee’s office said no state funds are being used toward this fee and the private donation will cover the $495 fee for up to 250 applicants. There are about 18,000 Washington residents enrolled in DACA.

Washington residents who qualify may apply for the funding through the Mission Asset Fund.

Other organizations are offering financial assistance as well. Seattle-based 21 Progress is offering interest-free loans for DACA renewal. And Fuerza Colectiva has been collecting donations to help applicants pay the renewal fee.

The deadline to renew DACA status is Oct. 5, for people whose status expires on March 15, 2018. Applications must be received by the Department of Homeland Security by that date.

The deadline only applies to people who are seeking renewal — the federal government is no longer taking new applications.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump’s administration announced the end of the program that shields some young undocumented immigrants from deportation. The program, which was put in place after an executive action by President Barack Obama, shielded some young immigrants who were brought to the United States as children without documentation.

Many young people who enrolled in the program have attended school and have been able to work without fear of deportation. Enrollees must renew their status every two years.

A number of local organizations have set up workshops in the next few weeks to offer advice for DACA recipients and their families and to help enrollees apply for renewal.

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