By: Jessica Vaughan | Center for Immigration Studies
More than 500 individuals who obtained DACA benefits that were later revoked due to criminal and/or gang involvement apparently are still living in the country and at large, according to statistics provided by USCIS to Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. These cases are 25 percent of those who lost DACA status due to criminal and/or gang activity as of November 2017. Only about 30 percent of the ex-DACA criminal aliens have been removed or were in ICE custody as of November 2017.
According to USCIS, a total of 2,127 individuals had their DACA status terminated for criminal activity and/or gang activity as of November 22, 2017. In no more than 3 percent of these cases did the termination occur merely because of gang involvement; nearly all of the terminations followed criminal convictions or arrests, according to related data on the USCIS website.
USCIS provided the following breakdown of the outcome of the cases of these DACA terminations:
- Removed from the United States: 562
- In ICE Custody: 90
- Released from ICE Custody: 535
- No Record of Removal, Detention or Release by ICE: 940
- Total: 2,127
While it is reassuring that USCIS is revoking DACA benefits for criminal gang members it identifies, it is concerning that almost as many criminal alien DACA beneficiaries have been released as have been removed to their home country. Most of the terminations occurred more than a year before these statistics were compiled. I assume that at least some of the 940 criminals who had DACA but who have not been removed are still in state or local custody serving time, but it is possible, even likely, that some were released by sanctuary jurisdictions, and ICE has not re-apprehended them.
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