The SF Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs is offering to cover the cost of renewal application fees for all Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients in the city, ahead of an October 5 renewal deadline. As the Examiner reports, the city has previously subsidized application fees for the program, which benefits around 223,000 people in California though the number of local recipients is not clear. The city is saying no one will be turned away, and as the Chronicle reports, they're budgeting $100,000 for this assistance program, meaning they expect about 200 people to take advantage of the offer.
Approximately 154,200 DACA beneficiaries nationwide are facing expiration of their status under the program on March 5, 2018, according to the decree made by President Trump three weeks ago. Trump said he expected Congress to come up with a compromise replacement for the program by March, however it remains to be seen whether that will occur and those whose DACA status is expiring have to reapply by October 5, at a cost of $495 per application.
Additionally, the city is offering a workshop on Saturday at Mission High School from 1 to 5 p.m. in which they will offer on-site legal assistance and help completing applications.
"These individuals are diligent students and dedicated workers who have only known this country as their home," Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. "We are proud to pay for their DACA application fees and we will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in this country."
Lee added, "We want to remove as many barriers as possible to help these brave young individuals prepare for the Oct. 5 deadline. We asked them to step out of the shadows to pursue a better life in America, and we need to honor our commitment to their cause."
Richard Whipple, deputy director of the Mayor's Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, tells the Chronicle that even those Dreamers whose status is not expiring should try to attend to meet with an immigration attorney to "explore other immigration benefits that you might be eligible for."
A benefit dinner happening Monday at Jardiniere is also raising funds to cover expiring Dreamers' renewal fees, and now those funds can be reserved for Bay Area Dreamers outside of San Francisco.