Almost 60,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients have been arrested at least once as a beneficiary of the Obama-era program, according to data released Monday by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
USCIS Director L. Francis Cissna confirmed Monday morning that 59,786 people protected in the program had been arrested while a DACA recipient, which is 8.5 percent of the total 700,000 recipients.
In addition, 53,792 DACA beneficiaries had been arrested prior to being approved by the Department of Homeland Security agency to be part of the DACA program, which grants recipients legal protections from deportation for two-year periods.
“The rules for DACA are that you are excluded from DACA if you have a felony, conviction, three misdemeanor convictions, three or more misdemeanor convictions or a conviction for a misdemeanor. You could be arrested a whole lot of times and still get DACA,” Cissna told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Monday morning.
The DHS data do not include how many individuals had charges dropped or later pleaded down.
Among current DACA recipients who had a prior arrest, 39 percent were driving-related offenses and 22 percent were immigration-related crimes.
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama created DACA through an executive order after Congress failed to legislatively solve the issue of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the country who had been brought to the U.S. as minors.