A new report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows that about 10% of DACA recipients have been arrested at least once, and some have been arrested multiple times.
Of the 765,000 immigrants who have received work permits and no-deportation cards under former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, 79,398 — or 10.38% — had an arrest of some kind on their record, Breitbart reported Saturday.
According to FBI crime statistics, which state that the overall arrest rate in the U.S. is around 3.25%, DACA recipients are arrested at just over three times the national rate.
DACA crimes hurt citizens
Of the DACA recipients — or “Dreamers” — who have been arrested, 31%, or 24,898, were arrested more than once. The report also said that 67,861 recipients were accepted even though they had been arrested previously.
Still, the current DACA setup does not permit recipients who have been convicted of major crimes to remain in the U.S., and a higher percentage DACA requestors (12%) have been arrested, which suggests that some DACA requestors were denied because of their arrest records.
A statement released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Saturday said that the report “reflects the agency’s ongoing focus on transparency.”
For his part, President Donald Trump tweeted about crimes by DACA recipients just before the report was released as a way to bolster support for his cancellation of DACA.
Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2019
Dreamers or criminals?
As he said in the tweet, Trump wants to pursue a new deal with Congress on DACA, seeing it as a congressional power rather than an executive one. The president has not stated whether the new DACA deal would allow recipients who have been arrested to remain in the country, however.
The Supreme Court will be finally deciding the fate of the current DACA program next year. Immigration activists sued Trump for canceling the program when he couldn’t work out a replacement deal with Congress.
It is likely that the conservative-majority court will see things Trump’s way and allow the cancellation of the Obama-era executive order. If that happens, it will be up to Congress to work out a deal that will pass both houses and that Trump will be willing to sign.
It’s clear that neither side wants to deport 800,000 people brought to the U.S. as children, but it’s just as clear that there isn’t full agreement on the exact makeup of DACA and how it should look as legislation. Only time will tell what sort of deal they cook up in Washington.