According to Department of Homeland Security statistics obtained by USA Today, in the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency, his administration deported 43 young immigrants who were formerly beneficiaries of Deferred Action, the federal program that provides some young immigrants a temporary work permit and protections from deportation.
For comparison, the Obama administration deported an average of seven deportations a month since DACA applications were approved in September 2012, according to USA Today. The paper’s Alan Gomez reported the Obama administration deported a total of 365 former DACA enrollees.
Although the data available is only for Trump’s first month in office, the difference in number of deportations is alarming. Immigrant rights activists say this new information raises questions about who is a priority for deportation under the Trump administration.
For example, since the start of DACA in 2012, DHS has terminated DACA for about 1,500 recipients for “criminality or gang affiliation,” according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Immigration officials, however, have not released detailed information on how they define “criminality or gang affiliation.” In at least one ongoing deportation case, ICE has accused a man of being a gang member because he had a tattoo, according to immigration attorneys.
More than 750,000 undocumented immigrants have benefited from DACA.
Deferred action may be revoked at any time if recipients fall out of the eligibility restrictions. Applicants must “not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety,” according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
USA Today reported Homeland Security “data show that 676 immigrants whose DACA status was revoked still face removal proceedings. Ninety of them remain in custody.”