More Than 500 Criminal Ex-DACA Recipients ‘At Large,’ Says Immigration Expert

More than 500 people who were removed from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, their benefits “revoked due to criminal and/or gang involvement apparently are still living in the country and at large,” says the Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughn in a blog post.

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 the study.

“[Department of Homeland Security] knows who and where these criminal ex-DACA recipients are, and any implication to the contrary is misleading,” emails DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman.

Beneficiaries of the DACA program are mostly young people brought to this country by their illegal immigrant parents.

According to USCIS, of the 2,127 DACA recipients whose participation in the program was revoked, only about 30 percent of ex-DACA criminal aliens were deported or were in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody as of November 2017.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.

The Center for Immigration Studies says that 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. That list includes MS-13, the 18th Street gang, the Latin Kings, and the Trinitarios, some of the most violent gangs in the world, the Center for Immigration Studies says.

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

President Donald Trump made cracking down on illegal immigration a top issue in the 2016 campaign. According to the White House website, one of the president’s top priorities is to “[p]revent gang members from receiving immigration benefits.”

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—an organization that says it has been “at the forefront of mobilizing grassroots opposition to every amnesty proposal since 1996”—supports it.

Roy Beck, the founder of NumbersUSA, cited 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,” he added.

The headline of this article has been corrected to note the ex-DACA criminals are not “unaccounted for,” and the lede altered to better reflect the sourcing of the claim. A statement from the Department of Homeland Security has also been added.


Kyle Perisic

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