By Ilissa Mira, CLINIC Training and Legal Support Attorney
In September 2012, USCIS began granting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to individuals who entered the U.S. as children and met certain eligibility guidelines. DACA grantees receive deferred action and an employment authorization document, both valid for a two-year period. Initial DACA grants for the earliest applicants will begin to expire in September 2014. In anticipation, USCIS is developing a renewal process and inviting public comment. This article summarizes the latest changes to the proposed Form I-821D and current areas of concern.
USCIS released a preliminary revised Form I-821D and instructions on December 18, 2013 for a 60-day public comment period. In response, CLINIC submitted recommendations  focusing on several areas of concern, including:
On April 5, 2014, USCIS published a second revised form , which incorporates many of CLINIC’s recommendations. Additionally, USCIS updated its DACA webpage  to include preliminary information regarding the renewal process. The draft Form I-821D and the information on the website are subject to change until the form and renewal process are finalized in May 2014.
Highlights from the website guidance and the latest draft Form I-821D and instructions include:
CLINIC is pleased that USCIS has expanded the renewal window, however, we are troubled that some individuals who do not apply within the 120 – 150 day period before their DACA expires may fall into unlawful status if USCIS fails to adjudicate their applications in that timeframe. We appreciate that renewal applicants will not be required to resubmit evidence previously included in prior applications. Still, we are concerned that requests for arrest records are inappropriate and overly burdensome to applicants and that requests for juvenile records will lead to inconsistent and unfair treatment of individuals depending on their state’s privacy laws.
Public comments on the latest proposed DACA form and instructions are due on May 5, 2014. CLINIC will be submitting comments and we encourage our affiliates to use this opportunity to share their thoughts with CLINIC Training and Legal Support Attorneys Tatyana Delgado, firstname.lastname@example.org  and Ilissa Mira, email@example.com .