Trump made the false smear against DACA recipients as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the legality of the program.
Donald Trump issued a false smear against immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program Tuesday morning, saying many of the undocumented immigrants shielded from deportation as part of the DACA program are "hardened criminals."
"Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from 'angels,'" Trump tweeted, referring to the program that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors to remain in America to work or attend school. "Some are very tough, hardened criminals."
Trump's attack on DACA recipients is patently false.
Undocumented immigrants who apply for the DACA program are not allowed to have a criminal record.
According U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, undocumented immigrants who have been "convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors," are not eligible for the program. Similarly, applicants will also be assessed to ensure they do not "pose a threat to national security or public safety."
By definition, that means DACA recipients are not "hardened criminals."
Trump issued the attack against DACA recipients on Tuesday, hours before the Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the DACA program.
The Supreme Court will decide whether Trump's decision to end the DACA program was constitutional.
DACA was created in 2012 under former President Barack Obama by now-former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano after Congress failed to pass immigration reform.
The program helps undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children under no fault of their own, many of whom don't know any other country besides the United States.
Support for protecting the immigrants covered by DACA is nearl universal, with polls showing that 87% of Americans think DACA recipients should be allowed to stay in the United States.
Trump, however, has argued that Obama did not have the power to sign the executive order.
"President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway," Trump tweeted.
Trump went on to say that if the Supreme Court rules that Trump had the right to get rid of DACA, he will strike a deal with Democrats to allow DACA recipients to stay.
However, Trump has scuttled previous congressional attempts to codify DACA into law, and called DACA recipients criminals — two facts that are unlikely to earn him trust among the DACA recipients who fear deportation.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.