LAS VEGAS — Most of the 2,140 eligible Nevada participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program renewed their status, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
About 1,660 people filed their paperwork for renewal by the Oct. 5 deadline, and only about 100 people made use of the free legal services that were offered across the state, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .
The program enacted by the Obama administration protected students from deportation who were brought to the country as children and living in the country illegally.
President Donald Trump rescinded the program. But those already enrolled in it were eligible to renew their permits for another two years of work authorization and protection from deportation.
To be eligible for renewal, DACA participants’ status in the program had to expire on or before March 5, 2018.
Michael Kagan, director of the immigration clinic for University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said the low turnout at the offices that provided free filing help may have been due to people’s prior experience with the process. This was the third time to request renewal for some of the applicants. The university’s clinic assisted in 41 renewals during a two-week period.
Across the country, about 132,000 people renewed of the 154,000 who were eligible — an 85 percent turnout rate, according the federal agency’s data.
“It’d be hard to hope for much better return than this, even though we really want 100 percent,” Kagan said.
The fear of sharing information with the government may have prevented some people from reapplying, Kagan said. Others may not have realized the deadline because DACA participants were not mailed notice.