Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Friday that loopholes have allowed some beneficiaries of President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to obtain green cards, and has allowed others to gain full U.S. citizenship.
DACA allows some illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as minors to obtain renewable, two-year deferments from deportation provided certain criteria are met. It also allows them to work in the U.S., but Grassley said additional benefits were not intended.
"The DACA program was never intended to provide a pathway to citizenship, and the program's legal future is in jeopardy," Grassley said in a release, which drew its conclusions from data supplied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
"The data provided indicates 59,778 DACA recipients have applied for Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status — also known as a ‘green card' — and 39,514 have been approved," the release noted. "Of those who received LPR status, 2,181 have applied for U.S. citizenship and 1,056 have become U.S. citizens."
Grassley's release came out just before the White House told reporters in the Oval Office that Trump's administration would decide the fate of the program on Tuesday.
The program has been controversial in part because it was created by executive order as opposed to a legislative process.
Earlier in the year, President Trump suggested he might not entirely erase the program.
"They shouldn't be very worried," Trump said about the immigrants the program. "I do have a big heart."