500 ‘DREAMers’ Remain Free After DACA Protections were Stripped for Crimes, Say Experts

Dream Act protesters.
AP File Photo: Richard Vogel
Washington, DC

More than 500 DACA recipients stripped of protections for engaging in criminal acts–including gang activity–are running free in the United States, say experts.

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a “low-immigration, pro-immigration” nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, DC, reports that these individuals are still at large and have not been deported. In fact, only about 30 percent of the 500 criminal illegal aliens have been removed or were in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as of November.

“These statistics reveal a number of concerning things,” CIS director of policy studies, Jessica Vaughan, told Breitbart Texas. “First, it is now obvious that the vetting of DACA applications was too lax, and that many people obtained DACA when they should not have. Prior exchanges between the Senate Judiciary Committee and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have shown that because of Obama policies, adjudicators did not routinely review all the criminal history databases that documented gang activity, so hundreds of people who were already gang members were able to get DACA.”

Vaughan stated that Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pressed USCIS officials on the matter. Those officials then went back and reviewed some of these cases. “Only then did they start revoking all their mistakes,” Vaughan explained. “That’s appropriate, if belated.”

While 562 DACA conferees were removed from the U.S., 535 were released from ICE custody, CIS reports from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) statistics.

Only 90 were placed in ICE custody.

Overall, there is no record of removal, detention or release by ICE for 940 of these “DREAMers.”

“What I find hard to understand is why so many of the criminals and gang members who mistakenly got DACA are still here,” Vaughan questioned. “It should have been a priority to remove them, but only one-fourth of them have been removed. Apparently, the Obama Administration was willing to let them stay even without DACA — as if their criminal gang activity was no big deal.”

Vaughan expressed dismay that immigration officials seem to have no idea were some of these people are.

“It is likely that some of them are still incarcerated, but with the proliferation of sanctuary policies, especially in areas where these gangs are, it’s also likely that some of them will be released and ICE will not be notified,” she explained. “That means they may not be located until they offend again and create new victims. That’s unacceptable.”

USCIS released figures showing DACA terminations which were related to criminal and gang activity from fiscal year (FY) 2013 to FY 2017. During those years, approximately 2,130 DACA beneficiaries had their immigration protection cut off. In 2017, 850 individuals had their DACA status terminated because of criminal and gang activity.

USCIS reported that the ex-DACA criminals are associated with some of the most violent and well-organized gangs in the U.S., including the hyper-violent MS-13 gang based in Central America. The list of 45 gangs include the Latin Kings, Trinitarios, and 18th Street gangs as well as lesser-notorious gangs like the Last Generation Korean Killers. Many of these gangs are located in “sanctuary” state California, but USCIS did not identify the cities of these ex-DACA members.

CIS notes:

Under current law, gang members are not automatically barred from receiving immigration benefits such as green cards, work permits, and Temporary Protected Status, and clearly many have obtained these benefits in recent years. A fix to this loophole should be a non-negotiable element of any bill that gives amnesty to DACA recipients.

Vaughan noted that unless Congress acts to correct this oversight, DACA recipients who have been found to have gang affiliations could receive amnesty or even a green card.

“The only bill on the table right now that will prevent gang members from getting amnesty and green cards is the House GOP bill, the Security America’s Future Act, which would specifically bar documented gang members from getting green cards, TPS, and other benefits,” she stated. “If Congress insists on having a DACA amnesty, it needs to include these provisions.”

The nonpartisan immigration research non-profit added that the Securing America’s Future Act sponsored by several House Republican immigration committee leaders would halt the practice of giving immigration benefits to these gang members. It would also exclude gang associates from any DACA amnesty, and it provides for deportability.

Breitbart News’ Neil Munro reported last week that DACA-aged illegal aliens commit crimes at twice the rate of their young American counterparts. This finding was made in a comprehensive summary of the crimes and convictions in Arizona over the last 32 years.

As reported, Breitbart News spoke with John R. Lott Jr. at the Crime Prevention Research Center, in Alexandria, Va. The preparer of the report stated:

The data there shows the convictions for everybody who entered the prisons system from January 1985 through June of this last year … It just shows that certain groups are convicted at much higher rates than their share of the population …  [roughly 75 percent] of the crime committed by undocumented immigrants or illegal aliens is committed by those who are 15 to 35 years of age.

Fox News reported on Monday that “Frustrated MS-13 gang leaders feeling the pressure from the Trump administration’s crackdown are looking to send ‘younger, more violent offenders’ to the United States to take over the role of being enforcers.”

Stephen Richardson, assistant director of the FBI’s criminal investigative division, relayed this information to the House Committee on Homeland Security, Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee. The meeting was about combating transnational criminal gangs through information sharing.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGab, and Facebook.

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