Thousands of DACA Recipients Have Arrest Records in U.S: Report

As many as 59,786 DACA recipients have been arrested while they were in the United States.


Thousands of immigrants with arrest records have been permitted to stay in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This also includes 10 people who were accused of murder, Fox News reported, citing figures revealed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on June 18.

As many as 59,786 DACA recipients were arrested while they were in the United States, making up about 7.8 percent of all who have been allowed to stay in the United States under the DACA program since its creation in 2012, DHS statistics show, according to the report. Out of these people, 53,792 had been arrested before their most recent appeal for “grant of deferred action” was accepted. Another 7,814 were arrested after their request was accepted, as per the publication.

The department was releasing the arrest data in response to questions “from Congress and others” for complete information on recipients of DACA, including DACA criminal activities, a DHS spokesman said, according to the report.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Francis Cissna said that the agency wants to provide enough data regarding DACA so the public and lawmakers can stay informed. “I would like people to keep in mind whatever they do, I would hope that we, at USCIS, would be able to turn down these people … if we think they’re a public safety threat, if someone is a gang member, even if they don’t have a conviction,” Cissna was quoted as saying by the publication.

The DHS figures, however, do not provide information on how many of those arrested immigrants were convicted of crimes. The statistics also do not indicate if charges had been reduced or dropped, or how many arrested DACA recipients faced deportation due to conviction.

“You could be arrested a whole lot of times and still get DACA. The data we’re putting out is only arrests, so presumably those people who had murder arrests, rape arrests — that type of seriousness — either got acquitted, charges were dropped or they plead something down, I would hope,” Cissna said, adding that a lot of crimes on the list are misdemeanors. “They could’ve been convicted and still could have gotten DACA if they only had two of those misdemeanors,” he added.

Out of the 53,792 DACA recipients with a prior arrest, over 4,500 were arrested on charges of alleged assault or battery. As many as 830 arrests were linked to sex crimes which included rape, sexual abuse or indecent exposure, and 95 arrests were made on warrants issued for kidnapping, human trafficking or false imprisonment, DHS figures showed.

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