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BYRON YORK: Crime and Immigration: What’s in the Dream Act: Commentary on the DACA controversy …

BYRON YORK: Crime and Immigration: What’s in the Dream Act:

Commentary on the DACA controversy frequently notes that the nation’s nearly 700,000 so-called Dreamers are a law-abiding group. But a new bill to give DACA recipients full legal status, sponsored by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeff Flake and Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin and Chuck Schumer, would allow newly legalized Dreamers to have many run-ins with the law — arrests, charges, convictions — and still receive benefits. Schumer, the Democratic leader, is demanding quick passage.

Former President Barack Obama’s original 2012 executive action creating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals stipulated that to be eligible, recipients must have “not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offense, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.” When Obama announced the criteria for renewing DACA status in 2014, the standard was “have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.”

The Obama administration defined a “significant misdemeanor” as a crime with a maximum sentence of one year, or, regardless of length of sentence, “an offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or driving under the influence.”

With the Dream Act of 2017, Graham, Flake, Durbin, and Schumer have adopted much of the existing Obama-era criteria about crime, but in a way that would allow Department of Homeland Security officials to be more generous with newly legalized DACA recipients.

If only they were as lenient with citizens who break the law.

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