Mayor Lee and Board of Supervisors Announce Funding Plan to Support Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
Initiative will fund $495 renewal fees for applicants who need to renew enrollment in DACA
San Francisco, CA – Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the Board of Supervisors today announced that San Francisco will pay for the $495 application fee for all Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients who need to renew their enrollment before the October 5 deadline.
“We want to remove as many barriers as possible to help these brave young individuals prepare for the October 5 deadline,” said Mayor Lee. “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. These individuals are diligent students and dedicated workers who have only known this country as their home. We are proud to pay for their DACA application fees and we will continue to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in this country.”
To remain within the DACA program, enrollees must renew their application every two years. Due to a decision by the federal government, October 5 will be the last time that members of the current program will be able to renew their application. Historically, San Francisco provided subsidies based on need to help cover the application costs of DACA recipients, but due to the urgency of the October 5 deadline, all renewal fees will be fully funded.
The funds for the DACA recipients will be administered through the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) as part of its integrated immigrant assistance initiative, which includes citizenship, deferred action, community grants, language assistance, the DreamSF Fellowship and workforce development.
OCEIA will host a free DACA Renewal Workshop on Saturday, September 23 at Mission High School from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Onsite legal assistance and screenings will be provided and renewal application fees for DACA recipients will be fully covered.
“While not comprehensive immigration reform, the DACA program is a critical step for young people who arrived as children in the United States, to come out of the shadows and participate fully in economic and educational opportunities,” said Supervisor Fewer. This workshop is one of many important ways that the City is supporting DACA recipients and confirming our commitment to immigrant communities.”
"When DACA is removed it will be our neighbors, friends, and relatives who will be losing their basic rights. What kind of city would we be if we don't step up to help them?” said Supervisor Ronen. “Until we're able to win back permanent protections for this community, we need to renew these young peoples' work permits on our own so they can continue to go to their jobs, go to their schools, and remain with their families. San Franciscans value hard work and education, but most importantly we value our immigrant residents"
“We are here to let these bright young individuals know that they can count on the resources and backing of our City during these difficult times,” said Supervisor Tang. “Instead of punishing our residents for stepping forward and pursuing pathways to citizenship, we will celebrate their bravery and support their aspirations.”
“The repeal of DACA is inhumane and disingenuous,” said Supervisor Yee. “DACA is a short-term reprieve, but this means so much for undocumented youth who are relying on some level of protection to fight for survival in this country every day. I am proud that San Francisco will show our support by ensuring that no DACA recipient is at risk of losing renewal because of lack of funds. Beyond DACA, we need to stand by these courageous youth and commit to supporting freedom from fear for them and for their families.”
In response to divisive policies being crafted at the federal level, Mayor Lee has made a commitment to supporting San Francisco’s immigrant communities. Directly following the November election, Mayor Lee announced plans to dedicate an additional $1.5 million to bolster immigration-related legal services. Overall, Mayor Lee has pledged $15 million over the next two fiscal years to fund multilingual legal services and expand education and outreach for San Francisco’s immigrant communities.
"DACA holders serve in the military, are first responders, healthcare workers and professionals,” said Adrienne Pon, Executive Director of OCEIA. “No one is more deserving than the hundreds of thousands of DACA holders who are contributing every day to making this a better, more inclusive, safer and smarter country.”
"Our DACA recipients are accomplished young professionals, household breadwinners and valued members of their communities," said Celine Kennelly, chair of the Immigrant Rights Commission. "Despite all their admirable contributions to this country, they are facing sustained attacks from Washington, D.C., through no fault of their own. Now more than ever, San Francisco needs to rally around these individuals and support them in all their endeavors."
On June 15, 2012, President Obama created DACA, which deferred deportation for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children. The DACA program allows individuals to temporarily remain in the U.S., obtain a driver’s license and apply for work authorization.
DACA allowed individuals who entered the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday to register to remain in the country, provided they pay a fee and meet certain requirements related to their education and criminal record. On September 5, the Department of Homeland Security announced the rescission of the DACA program.
About 800,000 young residents across the country, including approximately 76,000 in the San Francisco Bay Area, are affected by the decision to end DACA.