Written responses to the Senate Judiciary Immigration and the National Interest Subcommittee show that the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has granted amnesty to six illegal aliens through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program even though they were flagged as "possible national security concerns." In the statements, USCIS says that only seven of the 16 DACA applicants flagged with security concerns have been denied amnesty so far and three remain pending.
“Each case was individually vetted and deconflicted with the appropriate law enforcement agency, and each request was considered on its individual merits,” USCIS responded in its written response.
The responses and data from USCIS also reveal the lack of thorough investigating USCIS does during the application review process. According to the responses, only 283 out of nearly a million DACA applicants have been interviewed in person as of April 30.
According to USCIS' data since DACA started in 2012 through March 2015, USCIS has processed 748,789 initial requests and 355,805 renewals. Of those 664,607 initial requests and 243,872 renewals have been approved and 43,375 initial requests and 414 renewals have been denied.
This means that the Obama administration has conducted in person interviews with about .03 percent of initial DACA applicants and about .02 percent of all DACA applications.
USCIS further revealed in the responses that it does not track DACA applicants for affiliations that could lead to disqualification from the program, such as gang, money laundering or drug cartel affiliations.
It noted that a recent database search for suspected gang affiliations through TECS (not an acronym) showed there have been known and suspected gang members granted DACA.
“USCIS recently conducted a unique batch TECS query of all approved DACA requests in order to identify records that contained information indicating known or suspected gang association,” the agency wrote. “Based on the information obtained from the recent batch TECS query, there were records pertaining to 49 DACA requestors whose requests had been granted. Of these 49, a total of 13 individuals had TECS records entered after DACA review. These cases are being reviewed for possible termination.”
Finally, USCIS elaborated on the 15 DACA recipients who were arrested in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement criminal dragnet in March known as Operation Cross Check.
“Of those 15 individuals, 14 were convicted of disqualifying criminal offenses after being afforded deferred action and one had a pending criminal charge with no disposition at the time the request was considered. DHS automatically terminated the deferred action of all 15 individuals and has initiated removal proceedings in those cases,” USCIS explained. “Additionally, eight individuals encountered during Operation Cross Check had previously been granted DACA, but their DACA had been revoked.”
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Updated: Mon, May 15th 2017 @ 3:56pm EDT