Since Fiscal Year 2013, at least 282 recipients of Deferred Status for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have been kicked out of the program due to criminal or gang affiliations, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) highlighted Tuesday.
During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson conceded that his department had erroneously granted DACA status to a known gang member who is currently charged with the murders of four people in North Carolina.
“This case is a tragic case and this individual should not have received DACA. I cannot state that in stronger terms,” Johnson said.
He went on in the hearing to say there have been a “handful” of similar cases as the one in North Carolina.
Grassley, however, in a statement after the hearing, pointed out that in a recent letter, USCIS acknowledged that since FY 2013 there have been at least 282 other cases in which DACA status was terminated due to gang and criminal affiliations.
“Secretary Johnson’s comments today suggest a broader systemic problem in the application process,” Grassley said. “Two hundred eighty-two cases is more than a ‘handful,’ and there needs to be a better effort to provide greater detail on exactly where breakdowns occurred in the DACA application process that ended deportation procedures for at least one known gang member who now is facing four murder charges.”
He continued, saying that just one mistake in the system can “lead to tragedy, but USCIS has admitted to at least 282 mistakes.”
“There could be more,” Grassley said. “This is a significant risk to public safety and national security being created by the failed implementation of a legally-questionable action by the president. Americans deserve a government that protects their wellbeing, not one that welcomes dangerous criminals with open arms.”