The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority clashed with liberal justices on Tuesday, Nov. 12, over 80 minutes of DACA arguments—and appeared to be in support of the Trump administration to put an end to the program that shielded 660,000 illegal aliens to work and study in America without the fear of being deported.
Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, recipients who were brought to the United States illegally as children are legally allowed to work and attend school if they meet specific criteria and were able pass a background check. DACA was established in 2012 under then-President Barack Obama.
President Trump warned that the reality isn’t as peaceful as it seems.
“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” Some are very tough, hardened criminals,” President Trump said in a Nov. 12 tweet. “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!”
But the president’s concerns do not come without justification.
Newly released results on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have shown that more than 10 percent of DACA recipients were arrested for a wide spectrum of crimes from burglary to possession of child pornography or murder when they were deemed eligible for residency.
Of the 10 percent, a staggering 31 percent were rearrested on multiple occasions.
“The updated report includes data on the age of the illegal alien at the time of arrest. It also includes a heat map of the last known state residence for #DACA requestors with an arrest and the state of arrest,” a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) tweet said on Nov. 16.
USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna said in a June 18 statement last year that individuals charged with crimes are still being protected by DACA from being deported, and that the system—and the ruling of courts—is acting as a safety net for such individuals.
“In striving for transparency, USCIS has released a variety of information on both the DACA policy and its population as part of a continued effort to keep the public informed,” Cissna said. “As such, criminal activity of DACA requestors has long been the subject of widespread discussion and speculation, with a regrettable lack of available data until now.”
The 2018 findings, shown on the USCIS website, have highlighted that almost 8 percent of total requestors of DACA both approved and denied DACA—amounting to 59,786 individuals—had arrest records as of the date the systems were queried, including offenses such as assault and battery, rape, murder, and drunken driving.
Around 13 percent—or 7,914 approved DACA requestors with an arrest—faced an arrest after their grant was approved and prior to its renewal.
A whooping 54.8 percent of DACA requestors with more than one arrest—or 17,079 people—most recently had a DACA case status of “approved” as one of the date the systems were queried, according to the findings.
“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,” Cissna pointed out.
“There are legitimate concerns over a portion of the population who have requested, and been granted, the privilege of a temporary stay of their removal under the illegal DACA policy,” Cisna continued. “Until it can be repealed, this criminality data only reinforces the need for its continued review and scrutiny, which was imposed unilaterally by the Obama administration in circumventing Congress. It’s our hope that it helps the public and policymakers better understand the reality of the entire DACA population.”
The Supreme Court expects to reach a decision by June next year, at the peak of the 2020 presidential race.