DACA Recipients Include Identity Theft Criminals

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

February 23, 2017

Immigration enforcement advocates can’t figure out why President Donald Trump is reneging on his campaign pledge to “immediately terminate” deferred action for childhood arrivals. Not only did Trump promise on multiple occasions that he would end DACA on Day 1, he also repeatedly and accurately said that DACA is unconstitutional. For Trump to defend and extend a program he himself labeled unconstitutional makes him look foolish.

Daniel Ramirez Medina is an ICE-detained DACA permit holder
and alleged gang member.

Excuses offered up in defense of Trump’s lollygagging don’t hold water. Alfonso Aguilar, the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles leader that lobbies for amnesty, said that if Trump repeals DACA, “people will start screaming at him.” But Trump has never shown the slightest inclination to cave when critics voice their strong objections to his agenda.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach offered Trump the easiest solution. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly should send a memo to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ordering it to immediately stop issuing DACA work permits. President Obama’s first DHS secretary, Janet Napolitano, created DACA in her 2012 memo to USCIS, and Kelly could repeal it the same way.

For all the posturing Trump has done about the DACAs being “incredible kids,” his argument has two flaws. First, his defense of existing DACAs doesn’t excuse conferring work permits to new applicants. Carrying on Obama’s amnesty in perpetuity is indefensible.

And second, the large percentage of those “incredible kids,” if previously employed, probably committed identity fraud, a felony. Gone unnoticed in the DACA brouhaha is that, under Napolitano’s direction, face-to-face interviews were never conducted, approval rates ran about 99 percent, and USCIS required applicants to list only Social Security numbers that the Social Security Administration officially issued. In other words, listing stolen Social Security numbers falsely used to commit identity fraud was not required as part of a DACA application.

Furthermore, although the application asked about gang affiliations, when the Center for Immigration Studies submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to learn the results, the organization was told that: “The information you seek is not a field that is electronically captured,” a big time cover-up.

When in-person interviews aren’t required, stolen identities winked at, and gang membership ignored, the likelihood is that many not-so-incredible kids received DACA work authorization permits.


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