President Donald Trump is expected to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA, this coming Tuesday. Although liberals are up in arms about the impending doom of one of former president Barack Obama's flagship accomplishments, a former Trump immigration advisor has a strong take about why the program should end.
One of the key terms a person must meet in order to be DACA eligible is that he or she must not have committed any serious crimes. Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, said there are loopholes and limitations that still allow criminals to receive DACA amnesty.
"What happens is a lot of gangbangers get arrested, but the state won't have the resources to prosecute them all, so they're released," Kobach said on MSNBC on Friday. "It used to be before DACA that the county sheriffs would release them to ICE in hopes that they would deport them. But we have many cases of such individuals who are getting the DACA amnesty."
Kobach is seeking to dispel the notion held by many DACA supporters that those in the DACA program automatically represent a "higher class" of person. Rather, he said, there are people from both ends of the spectrum.
"We shouldn't have any illusion here," Kobach continued. "DACA is a cross section of the illegal alien population. There are criminals and there are scholars, but it's not an especially high achieving cross section of the population."
MSNBC hosts Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle took issue with Kobach's characterization of people not convicted in a court of law as criminals.
Kobach is clearly understanding of the principle that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but his point is that there are illegal immigrants who are not going through the entire legal process because law enforcement agencies are forced to make a resource-based decision on who to prosecute and who to release. Basically, he's saying that just because a person didn't get convicted, doesn't mean they didn't commit the crime.
There is some nuance to the issue of DACA immigrants, and that is being acknowledged by some Republicans. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, supports amnesty for "Dreamers," those who were brought to the U.S. as children, but he wants that to come from Congress, not an executive order like Obama used. He still insists he is strongly opposed to illegal immigration, but he does not want to punish children for what their parents did.
Kobach is known for his tough immigration stances, and made news for accidentally revealing parts of his strategic plan for the Department of Homeland Security during a photo op with then-president-elect Trump.