Legal Immigrants Pay For DACA Free Riders, And Take a Backseat



Processing costs for DACA applications totaled $115.7 million last year – and legal immigrants were stuck with the tab.

Because application and renewal fees are waived for many Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals beneficiaries, the government transferred funds from other immigrant programs to cover the expense. DACA applicants only pay for work permits and fingerprints, leaving legal immigrants and visa applicants to shoulder the cost of adjudicating DACA eligibility.

Worse yet, DACA applications were prioritized ahead of family and naturalization applications, lengthening the waiting lines and processing times for legal immigrants.

Responding to questions from the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reported that it adjudicated 56,506 initial DACA requests in fiscal 2017 at an estimated of $25.2 million. USCIS adjudicated 419,071 renewals that year at an estimated cost of $90.5 million.

USCIS said the cost of handling DACA applications over the past three years totaled $316.5 million.

This free-riding subsidy scheme compounds the flaws in President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional DACA program. Any congressional move to perpetuate DACA must, at minimum, require all applicants to pay the full cost of adjudicating their cases.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, has suggested that every DACA applicant should be assessed an application surcharge to fund enforcement and/or restitution initiatives.

“Another use for surcharge funds could be a fund for victims of crimes by DACA beneficiaries, such as the victims in the recent fishing boat attack off Nantucket, in which a DACA beneficiary has been charged,” she noted. Ditto for the multiple DACA criminal arrests reported by FAIR just last week.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

12 Comments

  1. avatar
    Mrs. Catherine Thomas on

    PBS aired a special about the DACA children who are now adults. One complained that her DACA status expires before she gets her degree. That means she’s had at least FOUR YEARS to apply for citizenship.

  2. avatar

    I am chocked reading “”the illegal immigrants cause lengthening waiting time and processing administrative paper work to legal family member “”
    This is not fair at all ,,

    Why the USCIS doesn’t seperate the applications of illegal from legal immigrants application.

    How come ,, American citizen children over 21 years petition takes 12 years ,, unfair

    • avatar

      Maybe it is because the slippery SOBs won’t hold still long enough to get any ID on them if you give them a chance to run away, Something they will do anyway unless they get enough subsidized housing, Food stamps , welfare, Medicade etc etc and then go work off the record, We Americans are going to need to take this into our own hands or we will lose this Country ?? !! And soon if we let these Communist left wingers keep allowing the illegals to Vote !!

  3. avatar

    I am checked reading “”the illegal immigrants lengthening waiting time and processing administrative paper work to legal family member “”
    This is not fair at all ,,

    Why the USCIS doesn’t seperate the applications of illegal from legal immigrants application.

    How come ,, American citizen children over 21 years petition takes 12 years ,, unfair

  4. avatar

    Thanks a lot Obama for bringing more worthless illegal immigrants into our country. Ship them back where they came from and send Obama with them.

    • avatar

      Don’t forget the republican biz men who obey for them (and Ronald Reagan who gave amnesty to 2.8 million)

    • avatar

      No one said it did. It was Jessica Vaughn of CIS who said it and she was correct. Try to respond to actual statements made.

  5. avatar

    DACA recipients are getting away with more free stuff, while making legal immigrants wait longer and pay extra? The Obama legacy of extra-legal diktats just keeps on giving, and taking. This dysfunctional situation shows how judges and bureaucrats combine to thwart President Trump and subvert the national interest at every turn. And congressional Republicans, holding majorities in both chambers of Congress, do nothing. Based on such (non) performance, those majorities may not last.