Govt. Report: Thousands of Criminals Received DACA Protections

Over at the Heritage Foundation’s news arm, Hans von Spakovsky has a quick but important write-up of a disconcerting new government report:

“Recently, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services did a comprehensive review of aliens who applied for benefits under DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals]. 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 assault, rape, and murder, yet were still approved” [emphasis added].

Mr. Spakovsky continues by stating that the new report demonstrates that screening under Obama’s tenure was remarkably lax: “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.”

Further, USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna is quoted in the official report’s summary as follows: “The truth is that we let those with criminal arrests for sexually assaulting a minor, kidnapping, human trafficking, child pornography, or even murder be provided protection from removal. Yet the courts rule that we are unable to change this policy—even though those with criminal histories are getting through the system and permitted to remain in the country, despite having a high number of arrests for any types of crimes before or after receiving DACA protection.”

The entire report, entitled “New Data Shows Criminal Arrest Histories of DACA Requestors,” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be accessed here: