Government statistics released Thursday reveal that the Trump administration gave amnesty to an estimated 98,000 illegal immigrants.
Former President Barack Obama created a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an amnesty program intended to serve minors who arrived in the U.S. illegally, often referred to as “dreamers.” During his campaign for president, Donald Trump said he would “immediately terminate” the “illegal” amnesty program. Trump did not end the program, and, in fact, DHS continued to process renewals and even new applications.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) figures recently released show that between January 1 and March 31, 2017, DACA helped 124,649 illegal immigrants avoid deportation and receive work permits. The DACA recipients cited include 17,125 illegal immigrants new to the program, getting approved for the first time, as well as 107,524 DACA illegal immigrants that had their status renewed for two more years.
Many conservatives have voiced their concerns over the DACA program’s continued operation. After he was elected, President Trump did appear to soften on the issue, however, leading to speculation that he would not be taking action. In April, the Associated Press reported:
President Donald Trump says young immigrants shielded from deportation — often referred to as “dreamers” — should “rest easy” about his immigration policies.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Trump says he is “not after the dreamers, we are after the criminals.” He says “that is our policy.”
Since the creation of the DACA program in 2012, almost 788,000 illegal immigrants have benefited from it through amnesty that allows them to work and go to school. They’ve also received considerable consessions from some left-leaning groups, including offers of free college tuition.
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