The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was adopted by the Obama administration in 2012. Its purpose was to allow some illegal immigrants who entered the country when they were minors to have a two-year renewable period of deferred action from deportation, and eligibility for a work permit. It was never intended to be a path to citizenship.
According to information released Friday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, the Obama administration not only gave protection to millions of illegal immigrants through DACA, but also allowed DACA recipients to obtain green cards.
“Preliminary data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in response to recent inquiries from the House and Senate Judiciary Committees indicate that the Obama administration allowed thousands of DACA recipients to exploit an immigration law loophole to obtain green cards. The data also show that more than a thousand DACA recipients have already obtained citizenship,” Grassley released. “The DACA program was never intended to provide a pathway to citizenship, and the program’s legal future is in jeopardy.”
As of August 21, 2017, 45,447 DACA recipients have been approved for advance parole through an I-131 Application for travel documents. This approval allows a DACA recipient to travel out of the country and legally return, making them eligible to adjust their immigration status and receive a green card. Another 3,993 had their applications denied.
The data provided indicates 59,778 DACA recipients have applied for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status—also known as a ‘green card’—and 39,514 have been approved. Of those who received LPR status, 2,181 have applied for U.S. citizenship and 1,056 have become U.S. citizens.
Acquiring a green card is a major step toward obtaining American citizenship, which gives individuals the right to vote.
Adding insult to injury the Obama administration used fees paid by legal immigrants to pay for DACA, which allows millions of illegal immigrants to cut the line without paying hefty fees.