With arrest offenses including murder, rape, assault, and battery, nearly 110,000 Dreamers had criminal records, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report Saturday, backing up a tweeted claim by President Donald Trump earlier in the week.
"As DACA continues to be the subject of both public discourse and ongoing litigation, USCIS remains committed to ensuring transparency and that the American people are informed about those receiving DACA," USCIS Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli wrote in a statement. "This agency is obligated to continue accepting DACA requests from illegal aliens as a direct result of the previous administration's decision to circumvent the laws as passed by Congress.
"We hope this data provides a better sense of the reality of those granted the privilege of a temporary deferral of removal action and work authorization under DACA."
While the total represents 12% of the 889,000 recipients, maintaining the Obama-era program and keeping up with a Trump administration policy of deporting illegal aliens is made more difficult. Trump had attempted to do away with the program that was not passed by Congress, but courts had blocked him from doing so.
The Obama program began after a June 2012 executive order to "just bypass Congress and change the law myself," Obama had said, admitting "That's not how a democracy works," according to The Epoch Times.
The case is now before the Supreme Court.
"Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from 'angels,'" Trump tweeted Tuesday. "Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!"
DACA eligibility requirements include not having felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records and having arrived in the U.S. before 2007 under the age of 16, but a large majority of those arrested (85%) had been before their most recent DACA approval, per USCIS.
Also cited in the report:
- Of approved DACA requesters with an arrest, more than 31% (24,898) of them had more than one arrest.
- Of all DACA requesters, 218 had more than 10 arrests. Of those, 54 had a DACA case status of "approved" as of October 2019.
The arrests broken down by offense:
- Suspected driving-related offenses excluding DUIs (23,305).
- Immigration-related offenses (12,968).
- Battery (3,421).
- Assault (3,308).
- Burglary, breaking and entering (1,471).
- Theft or larceny (7,926).
- Rape (62).
- Murder (15).
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