Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, with nearly three dozen of his colleagues, sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) demanding clarity on the Trump administration's position on the use of personal information collected from individuals as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"Since its inception, the DACA program has allowed nearly 800,000 young people to come out of the shadows to work, go to school, serve in the military and contribute more fully to their communities," wrote the members. "The United States government committed to these young people that the information that they provided to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as part of the DACA program would not be used against them or their families for immigration enforcement purposes and people applying for DACA relied on this assurance in submitting applications."
In the letter, the lawmakers highlight concerns with statements that Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke and Acting USCIS Director James McCament made.
"We were concerned by your testimony at a September 27, 2017 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that you could not promise that DACA information would not be shared with ICE," the members wrote addressing Duke. "Moreover, at a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, then Acting USCIS Director James McCament stated, ‘Since 2012, that information sharing policy has not changed,' while also noting that it is ‘subject to change.'"
Concluding with a list of questions to DHS regarding the protection of DACA recipients' information, the members wrote, "It is imperative that the United States government keep its promise to these young people and their families. We urge you to honor the commitment made to DACA applicants that their information will not be shared for the purpose of immigration enforcement absent very specific circumstances. Doing anything less than this would be contrary to our economic and security interests, and a betrayal of the commitment to DACA recipients and their families."
In addition to Senate Democrats, Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-1), Chair, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Cedric Richmond (LA-2), Chair, Congressional Black Caucus also signed onto the letter.
A copy of the letter is available HERE.