Obama administration officials rubber-stamped DACA applications for so-called “Dreamers” without conducting background checks that would generally be standard in immigration screening.
That is the prior contention of legal watchdog Judicial Watch, based on government documents it previously obtained through a Freedom of Information request.
A former official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration separately seems to confirm that the DACA program is rife with fraud and that officials seldom thoroughly reviewed applications.
“Experts have told Breitbart Texas that during the Obama Administration, background screening was lax,” Breitbart News separately observed.
Similar allegations of fraud in the DACA application screening process were raised by the Washington Times in 2013.
On September 5, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was winding down the DACA program in its current form, but giving Congress a six-month window to address the issue.
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy created by a 2012 Obama executive order postponed deportation for approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before age 16 and prior to June 2007 and granted them work permits renewable on a two-year basis along with certain government benefits. Most of the so-called Dreamers are now said to be in the mid-20s age range. Historically, government programs underestimate the number of people affected and the costs involved, especially in this instance when chain migration is in play, so eligible individuals could be in the millions.
The Dreamer terminology evolved from the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (i.e., the Dream Act) that never passed Congress and which prompted ex-President Obama to invoke an executive action. The attorney generals of 10 states were set to sue the administration over DACA, and Trump officials apparently concluded that the policy would not survive a legal challenge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit previously ruled that DACA was inconsistent with the separation of powers.
Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress and not the executive branch the power to establish rules for immigration.
In his remarks, Jeff Sessions claimed that the Obama administration unconstitutionally circumvented Congress by implementing a form of executive amnesty. Among other things, he added that DACA created a humanitarian crisis at the southern border with unaccompanied minors flooding across, as well as preventing U.S. citizens from getting jobs that went to undocumented individuals, Politico reported.
According to Judicial Watch in a June 2013 press release, the DHS U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) agency “abandoned required background checks late last year” and engaged in “a costly, haphazard process, with only cursory review for the backgrounds of illegal aliens seeking ‘deferred status.'”
“An email chain from September 5 and through November 14 indicates managerial pressure not to turn any illegal alien applicant away for lack of ID,” Judicial Watch added.
President Trump campaigned against DACA, but Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer announced that they had reached a deal with the president on a 2017 version of the Dream Act after having dinner with him on Wednesday night.
Trump denied that a deal had been struck, but he has dismayed some of his supporters — prompting the hashtag #AmnestyDon to trend on Twitter — for seemingly changing his position to pro-DACA, and perhaps more importantly, not using his leverage to insist that border wall funding be included in the legislative package. Along with the Democrats, most of the GOP establishment support DACA in some form.
Separately, a former USCIS investigator claims that the fraud rate in DACA applications was in the range of 40 to 50 percent or even higher, as he told the LifeZette website last week. Higher-ups often disregarded evidence that an applicant may have lied in the paperwork to stay in the U.S., he alleged. Most of the rampant fraud involved the age of the applicant, which is a key element in determining DACA eligibility or ineligibility, and/or forged documentation. Obama officials pressured staff to approve DACA applicants even without proof of their identity, he asserted in the interview.
“USCIS employees did quick checks of DACA applications, he said, rather than thorough reviews, ‘in order to get the DACAs all racked and stacked quickly,'” LifeZette noted.
“The whole way the program is set up, it just facilitated fraud, and I’m not entirely confident that wasn’t intentional,” the ex-insider claimed about the process that green-lit 90-percent-plus of those who sought deferred status.
He added that an “alarming number of people” with gang affiliations applied for DACA status, and most of them were granted deferred deportation.
[Featured Image by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images]