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12 Years of DACA: 68K Illegal Aliens Awarded DACA Despite Prior Arrests

  Maricopa County/@13WHAM/Collier County/Dona Ana County/Greene County   4:30 Twelve years ago, in 2012, former President Barack Obama creat...


Maricopa County/@13WHAM/Collier County/Dona Ana County/Greene County
Maricopa County/@13WHAM/Collier County/Dona Ana County/Greene County

Twelve years ago, in 2012, former President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program via executive order, which has allowed close to a million illegal aliens to avoid deportation from the United States.

Standards for DACA, championed by President Joe Biden, were set so low that tens of thousands of illegal aliens with prior arrest records for crimes including murder, rape, kidnapping, and sex abuse were able to secure deferred deportation status and work permits to stay in the United States.

Federal records published in November 2019 by former President Donald Trump’s administration reveal the scale to which illegal aliens with prior arrests were able to apply for and be granted DACA.

As of October 2019, the federal government had granted DACA to nearly 68,000 illegal aliens with prior arrest records, while fewer than 30,000 illegal aliens with prior arrests were denied DACA or had their DACA status terminated as a result.

More than 25,000 illegal aliens were granted DACA despite having been arrested for drunk driving, along with roughly 3,300 previously arrested for assault, nearly 1,500 previously arrested for burglary, almost 600 previously arrested for hit-and-run, 259 previously arrested for sex abuse or child rape, more than 170 previously arrested for kidnapping, 62 previously arrested for rape, more than 30 previously arrested for animal cruelty, 15 previously arrested for murder, five previously arrested for manslaughter, and two previously arrested for having child pornography.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan warned lawmakers against passing amnesty for the roughly 800,000 illegal aliens enrolled in DACA today.

“There are legitimate concerns about the lack of rigor in the vetting process for DACA,” Vaughan said:

The lenient eligibility criteria and ‘lite and lean’ background checks that were directed under then-USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas meant that many individuals with criminal histories were able to obtain DACA. According to a USCIS report, about 12 percent of DACA applicants had arrest records, includ[ing] assault, battery, rape, murder and driving under the influence, and 85 percent of those applicants were approved.
[Emphasis added]

In one case, DACA illegal alien Luis Perez of Mexico was sentenced in 2023 to five consecutive life sentences for murdering 38-year-old Steven Marler, 23-year-old Josh Hampton, and a woman accused of being an accomplice to Marler and Hampton’s murders.

In 2018, DACA illegal alien Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias of Mexico was sentenced to 35 years for brutally terrorizing and sexually abusing a three-year-old girl in Arizona in a case that shocked investigators.

To celebrate DACA’s 12th anniversary, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called on Congress to pass an amnesty that would reward such illegal aliens with green cards and, eventually, naturalized American citizenship.

“On day one of my administration, I sent a comprehensive immigration reform plan to Congress to protect DREAMers and their families,” Biden said. “While Vice President Harris and I will continue fighting for our DREAMers, only Congress can provide permanent and lasting stability for them and their families. Congress must still act.”

The term “DREAMers” refers to those illegal aliens who are eligible and enrolled in the DACA program who would receive amnesty from the DREAM Act.

Mayorkas, who oversaw the program during his time in the Obama administration, said “Congress needs to act” to pass a DACA amnesty.

“Until they do, we will continue to advocate for, defend, and work with DREAMers to ensure they have the support and security they need to thrive,” Mayorkas said. “We will continue the work we started 12 years ago today.”

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