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FLASHBACK: Obama DHS Scrapped Background Checks For DACA

With all the hype surrounding President Trump’s decision to end DACA, it’s important to remember a 2013 report from Judicial Watch revealing that under Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), background checks were scrapped for those applying to be covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Documents from 2012 obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show that memos were circulated about circumventing extensive background checks for those applying for DACA protection. For instance, memos from September 14 ordered the National Benefits Center (NBC) to provide “lean and lite” background checks to DACA applicants without a specified end date to stop the practice. Another email thread showed that DACA applicants couldn’t be denied protection if they were unable to produce some form of identification.

Additionally, NBC was told to halt DACA work “until further notice” following Obama’s re-election, with nothing “to indicate how or when USCIS resumed DACA background checks or application processing,” per Judicial Watch.

If that weren’t bad enough, DACA also opened the door for family members of illegals protected under DACA to receive amnesty, as a directive allowed for “immediate relatives” of DACA illegals to receive protection for deportation. Therein lies the problem with DACA and efforts to provide legalization and citizenship to so-called Dreamers: it’s the first step toward broader amnesty.

The Judicial Watch report also highlighted the fact that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had to add 40 biometric workstations as a result of DACA, putting additional costs onto taxpayers.

The report is worth the reminder given how disconcerting it is. A country cannot adequately protect its citizens and uphold its sovereignty if it doesn’t know who is entering the country; by conducting only “light and lean” background checks and not requiring identification in applying for DACA, then extending protection to immediate family members of illegals protected by DACA, it’s very easy for people with criminal records to get through. Especially since so many of the DACA Dreamers aren’t actually children.

Judicial Watch’s 2013 report further highlights why President Trump was right to end DACA, even if there are some serious problems with his strategy in doing so.

Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter.

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