Immigration expert: More than 500 criminal ex-DACA recipients ‘at large’

JANUARY 27, 2018

More than 500 criminals who were removed from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are still living in the U.S., the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughn revealed in a blog post, according to a report from The Daily Signal.

DACA Dreamers who had their benefits “revoked due to criminal and/or gang involvement apparently are still living in the country and at large,” Vaughn wrote.

DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman pushed back against her claims, stating in an email, “[Department of Homeland Security] knows who and where these criminal ex-DACA recipients are, and any implication to the contrary is misleading.”

The nonprofit Center for Immigration Studies used statistics that Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, received from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in preparing a study that shows not all criminal aliens have been deported.

  • According to USCIS, of the 2,127 DACA recipients whose participation in the program was revoked, only about 30 percent of ex-DACA criminal aliens were deported or were in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as of November 2017.
  • ICE released 535 from its custody, while 940 have no record of removal, detention, or release by ICE.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, it’s possible and “even likely” that the reason ICE has not re-apprehended some of the ex-DACA criminals is “because they were released by sanctuary jurisdictions—cities and counties that do not enforce federal immigration laws and shield illegal immigrants.”

Citizenship and Immigration Services also released a list of more than 45 gangs with which the criminal former DACA recipients are affiliated, including some of the most violent gangs in the world.

“Under current law, gang members are not automatically barred from receiving immigration benefits, such as green cards, work permits, and temporary protected status,” said Vaughan, adding that many of them have “clearly” received some of those benefits in recent years.

One of President Donald Trump’s top priorities is to “[p]revent gang members from receiving immigration benefits,” according to the White House website.

One bill aimed at addressing illegal immigration is the Securing America’s Future Act. The bill would grant amnesty to DACA recipients, but bars illegal immigrants involved in gang activities from receiving immigration benefits.

Despite the bill’s granting amnesty to DACA recipients, NumbersUSA — a strong proponent against amnesty — supports it.

Founded by Roy Beck, NumbersUSA is an organization that says it has been “at the forefront of mobilizing grassroots opposition to every amnesty proposal since 1996.” However, Beck praised the bill’s provisions requiring employers to use an electronic system for verifying the eligibility of job applicants to work in the United States.

E-Verify would “turn off the jobs magnet for future illegal immigration,” Beck stated.