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DACA applications rise locally as pandemic causes process delays, local nonprofit says

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First-time DACA applications are on the rise in the Rio Grande Valley, said one local nonprofit organization.

Abraham Diaz with Valley nonprofit La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) says applications have increased locally.

But according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, requests have dropped by nearly 100,000 nationally.

“There have been acceptances, but fewer, or at a lower rate,” Diaz said. “We haven’t seen as many people get denied. We’ve just seen delays in the process.”

Diaz said that delays due to the pandemic affect people’s ability to put food on the table.

“USCIS taking more time not only affects the lives of people applying,” Diaz said. “But also their families, communities, and place of work that are looking to employ more people.”

The Texas Economic Growth and the Texas Opportunity Coalition report 14,420 Dreamers live in McAllen and contribute nearly $40 million in federal, state, and local taxes, holding the spending power of about $140 million.

Back in March, several Republican states led by Texas asked a federal judge in Houston to invalidate the DACA program. That judge has still not issued a ruling in the case. 

For information on qualifying for DACA, visit www.lupenet.org or call 956-586-3636.

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