Congress has been debating, among other things, the Obama-era Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and what to do with its 800,000 recipients who benefit from this constitutionally questionable executive action. The executive order issued by Obama shielded illegal aliens from deportation as long as they meet the criteria (i.e. no criminal record) and paid the $495 in application fees. DACA status had to be rented every two years. If accepted, DACA recipients had access to work permits. The program applied to illegal aliens that entered the U.S. as minors. What made immigration activists so jumpy is that these applicants gave very sensitive information about themselves and their whereabouts. They also had to admit they’re here illegally. The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff reported on this back in September:
In deportation proceedings, the government must prove that the person they want deported is in the U.S. illegally. That can sometimes be tough. DACA recipients – nearly 800,000 of them – gave the Department of Homeland Security information proving they are undocumented so they could get relief from the threat of deportation. They also gave the government information about where they live, work, and go to school. As soon as Donald Trump was elected, immigrants’ rights activists started asking what his administration would do with that information.
In a memo, the Department of Homeland Security answered this question. And its statement – full of wordy legalese – made clear that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will be able to use DACA recipients’ personal information to deport them.
“Information provided to USCIS in DACA requests will not be proactively provided to ICE and CBP for the purpose of immigration enforcement proceedings, unless the requestor meets the criteria for the issuance of a Notice To Appear or a referral to ICE under the criteria set forth in USCIS’ Notice to Appear guidance,” said the statement.
In other words, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency which handles DACA) won’t proactively give immigration enforcement officers a list with the names and addresses of all DACA recipients. But if ICE officers ask for it, the agency will provide it.
The Trump administration signaled last month that they wouldn’t defend the law, as they didn’t see how they could legally. Democrats and members of the media have admitted that DACA is legally questionable, especially concerning separation of powers. Ever since it was enacted, the GOP has rightfully criticized DACA as executive overreach. Around a dozen Republican state attorneys general threatened to sue the Trump administration if they settle the DACA issue. The result was ending of the program with a six-month enforcement delay to afford Congress time to pass DACA-like legislation. It’s the only way to remove the constitutional questions surrounding the program, and there is enough GOP support to pass this. There was now a lingering question about enforcement. Senate Republicans, like Tom Cotton from Arkansas, sees this as a possible opportunity to get the RAISE Act passed, which overhauls our green card process to prioritize immigrants with high skills and adds a language provision. Any aspect of border security is anathema to Democrats. While Congress and the media debate this aspect of the immigration issue, the Border Patrol picked up two DACA recipients who were smuggling illegals across the border (Via DHS) [emphasis mine]:
LAREDO, Texas – On October 4, 2017, Border Patrol agents arrested a juvenile attempting to smuggle two illegal aliens. Agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a passenger vehicle at the primary inspection lane. The driver was questioned regarding his immigration status and was referred for further inspection after a Border Patrol canine alerted to the presence of concealed humans and/or narcotics. After further inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered two adult male subjects concealed in the trunk of the vehicle. An immigration inspection of the two subjects revealed that they were both from the country of Brazil. The driver, a juvenile, was identified as a National from the country of Guatemala and a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2016. All subjects were processed for removal proceedings.
The second event took place on October 7, 2017, when Border Patrol agents arrested a juvenile attempting to smuggle one illegal alien. Agents at the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate Highway 35 encountered a passenger vehicle at the primary inspection lane. After further inspection, Border Patrol agents discovered one adult male subject concealed in the trunk of the vehicle. An immigration inspection of the subject revealed that he was from the country of Mexico. driver, a juvenile, was identified as a National from the country of Mexico and a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). All subjects were processed for removal proceedings.
As a result of their arrests, the juvenile drivers were processed for removal proceedings as a violation of the DACA conditions.