- The Washington Times - Monday, September 25, 2017

The recent battering of hurricanes has left such a mess that the Trump administration should delay its phaseout of the Obama-era deportation amnesty for Dreamers, or DACA, policy, top Democrats said Monday.

While the storms have hit Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico hard, the Democrats called for a nationwide extension, saying illegal immigrants could need more time to get their documents together to comply with the Oct. 5 deadline Homeland Security set for renewals.

Under the phaseout, those already in the program won’t have their two-year permits revoked, and can serve out the rest of the term. Those whose permits expire over the next six months can apply for a two-year renewal, but must have applications in by Oct. 5.

The Democrats said tens of thousands of DACA recipients live in the areas affected by the storms.

“An extension of the deadline would provide DACA recipients more time to collect the $495 application fee and gather the necessary documents to accurately complete the renewal application,” said the Democrats, led by Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Bill Nelson of Florida and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Immigrant-rights groups have scrambled to help DACA beneficiaries with assistance in filling out renewal applications, have offered financial help for those struggling to pay the filing fee, and have even offered lawyers for those Dreamers who run into legal questions.

A federal judge in New York, meanwhile, has signaled he might demand an extension to the Oct. 5 deadline.

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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