Government Gave DACA Protection to Thousands of Criminals

Hans von Spakovsky, CNS News, August 2, 2018

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The left consistently characterizes all DACA recipients as though they were innocent, law-abiding Phi Beta Kappa college graduates. They also treat anyone questioning DACA as a child-hater. That is just one of the myths surrounding the program.

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Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did a comprehensive review of aliens who applied for benefits under DACA. Getting approved under DACA provided a period of deferred action (a promise that the alien would not be deported) as well as access to certain government benefits such as Social Security and Medicaid.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services found that approximately 8 percent of DACA beneficiaries had previously been arrested, including for crimes such as assault, rape, and murder, yet were still approved.

Judicial Watch warned back in 2013 that DACA’s very limited vetting procedures were woefully inadequate, and the data has proven them right.

For those who think that, during the Obama administration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was actually checking the backgrounds of all DACA applicants, nothing could be further from the truth. They implemented a “lean and light” system in which only a few randomly selected DACA applications were ever actually investigated, and only rarely was any of the information on the applications themselves even verified.

{snip} Director L. Francis Cissna lamented: “The truth is that we let those with criminal arrests for sexually assaulting a minor, kidnapping, human trafficking, child pornography, and even murder be provided protection from removal.”

Not only were some of the DACA beneficiaries—the so-called “DREAMers”—criminals before they received deferred action, but a number of them committed crimes after they were given a free pass. Of the group of DACA beneficiaries with prior arrests, 13 percent of them—nearly 8,000 aliens—were arrested for another crime after they were in the United States.

The Center for Immigration Studies reported that, as of January, more than 2,000 individuals had their protection under DACA revoked for criminal or gang activity, including with MS-13, considered by many to be the most dangerous and brutal criminal gang in the country. Yet only 30 percent were actually deported or put in custody as a result.

Of course, those who want to treat illegal aliens as if they are legal immigrants want to ignore criminal activity both before and after individuals became DACA beneficiaries. One recent study from Arizona found that DACA-eligible immigrants made up 2 percent of the state population but 8 percent of the prison population.

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