The Obama administration allowed thousands of young illegal immigrants to ‘exploit an immigration law loophole’ to obtain green cards, the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Friday.
The committee, chaired by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, said in a statement that data provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services indicates thousands of recipients of Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program have applied for green cards and U.S. citizenship since the program went into effect.
The DACA program was never intended to provide a pathway to citizenship, the committee said.
But the Judiciary Committee said the data shows that 45,447 DACA recipients have been approved to travel out of the country and legally return. That makes them eligible to adjust their immigration status and receive a green card, the Republicans said.
As a result, the committee said 59,778 DACA recipients have applied for lawful permanent resident status, or a green card, and 39,514 have been approved.
It also said 2,181 have applied for U.S. citizenship and 1,056 have become U.S. citizens.
The Obama administration program gives a deportation reprieve to hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants. President Trump is expected to announce next Tuesday whether he will keep the program.