The Obama 'Dreamer' program should be repealed
© Getty Images

The Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has continued into the Trump administration, rewards illegal aliens (the so-called "Dreamers") for destroying the futures of innocent American children. It should be repealed.

Dreamers are often portrayed as sympathetic young people trying to go to school, but that portrayal is often erroneous. It is important to remember that DACA applies to individuals up to age 31. The result is that many adult Dreamers have long since terminated their studies, and many have committed serious felonies that impact American men, women and children. Even teenage Dreamers who work part-time while going to school often use fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers to get jobs with employers who require the completion of I-9 forms.

ADVERTISEMENT

The incidence of Dreamers stealing Social Security numbers committing identity theft is so serious that websites and blogs dedicated to DACA are forced to address these crimes. The websites conveniently ignore the fact that American children are prime targets of illegal alien identity theft and that all too often, these innocent American children see their own dreams become nightmares because of Dreamers.

 

For example, in Arizona, an illegal alien took the Social Security number of a 12-year-old American girl, Kathryn Shearer. Kathryn didn’t discover that someone was using her number until nine years later. By that time the illegal alien had totally destroyed her credit.

Kathryn faced a nightmare situation which threatened her very future. She was unable to get an apartment or hook up utilities. She could not obtain a car loan and she could not get a credit card. After graduating from law school, Kathryn could not pass the character background check required by the state bar because of what the illegal alien, who was just trying to make a better life for himself, had done to her credit.

It took Kathryn five years, countless hours of effort and reams of paperwork to finally get law enforcement to help her find the illegal alien who had destroyed her life. The perpetrator finally pled guilty and was sentenced to two years in prison, but Kathryn still faces the possibility that still more problems could arise because of records linked to her Social Security number.

In New Mexico, 15-year-old Marbella Lopez had her identity stolen. According to a news report, the theft turned Marbella’s high school years into a nightmare and destroyed her hopes for a bright future. Throughout high school, she received incessant calls from collection agencies. She was so distraught that she was unable to complete high school on schedule and when she finally did graduate, she was unable to go to college because her credit was so badly damaged that she could not qualify for a critically needed student loan. 

Thus, while Dreamers who had committed identity theft were realizing their dreams, Marbella was seeing her dreams stolen from her.

Of course, Dreamer criminal activity is not just limited to job-related felony identity theft, forgery, perjury and fraud. Many have gang ties as well. According to the Seattle Times over 1,500 Dreamers have had their DACA status revoked since 2012 due to their involvement with criminal gangs. Still others have multiple misdemeanor convictions, which include felonies that were diminished as part of plea agreements.

Despite this widespread criminal activity, the current DACA guidelines only exclude individuals who have been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors as long as they do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety. Consequently, illegal aliens committing multiple felonies and misdemeanors receive a total pass as long as they have not been convicted of their crimes.

This means that gang members, identity thieves, sexual predators and those who have committed a wide range of additional crimes all qualify for DACA status, as long as they haven’t been convicted yet.

Nonetheless, some members of Congress are still taking their side. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) has introduced legislation to reward Dreamers with American citizenship. In the event of its passage, what will members of Congress say to the American children whose futures have been destroyed by Dreamers? 

President Trump and Congress should side with American citizens, including those who came here legally, over those who broke the law. They should begin by repealing DACA.

Ronald Mortensen is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies(@wwwCISorg), a nonprofit group that advocates for legal immigration. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Utah and previously worked as a Foreign Service Officer.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.