12 Years Of DACA: Thousands Of Illegal Aliens With Arrest Records Granted Protection

Twelve years after former President Barack Obama established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program through executive order, nearly a million illegal aliens have avoided deportation under its provisions. However, concerns have arisen regarding the program’s lenient standards, particularly under President Joe Biden’s administration.

According to federal records released by the Trump administration in 2019, almost 68,000 illegal aliens with prior arrests have been granted DACA status. These individuals have arrest records for crimes including murder, rape, kidnapping, and sex abuse. Despite these serious charges, fewer than 30,000 applicants with prior arrests were denied DACA or had their status revoked.

The statistics are startling. Over 25,000 DACA recipients had been arrested for drunk driving, about 3,300 for assault, nearly 1,500 for burglary, almost 600 for hit-and-run, 259 for sex abuse or child rape, more than 170 for kidnapping, 62 for rape, over 30 for animal cruelty, 15 for murder, five for manslaughter, and two for possessing child pornography.

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, highlighted these concerns during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Vaughan criticized the vetting process for DACA under then-USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, noting that approximately 12% of DACA applicants had arrest records, including serious offenses. Despite this, 85% of those applicants were approved for DACA.

Among the troubling cases is Luis Perez, a DACA recipient from Mexico, who was sentenced in 2023 to five consecutive life sentences for a triple murder. Another DACA recipient, Francisco Javier Rios-Covarrubias, was sentenced to 35 years for the horrific sexual abuse of a three-year-old girl in Arizona.

In light of DACA’s 12th anniversary, President Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform to provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, often referred to as “DREAMers.” Biden emphasized his administration’s commitment to protecting these individuals and their families, while Mayorkas reiterated the need for legislative action to secure their future in the U.S.