Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kobach Urges End of DACA, Deportation of 'Gang Bangers'

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Kobach Urges End of DACA, Deportation of 'Gang Bangers'

Article excerpt

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach urged President Donald Trump on Friday to end the federal government's tolerance of illegal immigrant "gang bangers" protected from deportation by a program enacted five years ago by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Kobach, a Republican candidate for governor and lightning rod for immigration controversy, denounced the Obama-era policy known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

It enables about 800,000 "Dreamers" who came to the United States as children to remain in the country to work or attend school.

Trump has sent mixed signals about ending or phasing out DACA, but Kobach warned preservation of the program carried political and legal complications for the GOP president. About 200,000 people have enrolled or renewed two-year permits since Trump took office in January.

"What happens is a lot of gang bangers get arrested, but the state won't have the resources to prosecute all of them, and so they're released," Kobach said on MSNBC. "It used to be, before DACA, that the local county sheriff would release them to ICE in the hopes that ICE would deport them. But we have many cases of such individuals who are getting the DACA amnesty -- they've been arrested, they haven't yet been convicted, but that arrest isn't enough to disqualify them from DACA."

Instead, Kobach said, the proper approach should be to "remove the person who was arrested for gang-banging activity or who is a gang member."

Kobach also said DACA served interests of a "cross-section of the illegal alien population. There are criminals. There are scholars. But it's not an especially higher-achieving cross-section of the illegal alien population."

The attorneys general or governor in 10 states requested Trump make a decision on the fate of DACA by Sept. 5 or be prepared for a court battle.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined that cause, along with officials in Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. …

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