DHS Secretary’s Letter Says DACA Application Information Should Be Safeguarded

January 3, 2017

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC Responds to Johnson Letter on DACA Information

WASHINGTON — Responding to concerns about what a future administration could do with the identifying information of individuals who applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Jeh Johnson said in letter to members of Congress that the department has always made clear that information submitted by DACA applicants would be safeguarded, and would not later be used for immigration enforcement purposes.

Johnson explained in the letter that it is a longstanding practice, predating DACA, to use information submitted by individuals applying for deferred action for the primary purpose of adjudicating their requests, and not for other immigration-related purposes, adding that this precedent “must continue to be honored.”

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Deferred action is an incredibly valuable tool of our immigration system that provides relief to many people in our most vulnerable populations and allows them an opportunity to contribute more fully to their communities.

“For decades, people who have applied for temporary relief through this tool have provided their information in good faith and relied on our federal government to use it only for its intended purpose. They include DACA recipients as well as many others, such as survivors of domestic violence.

“At a time when many in our communities are grappling with great uncertainty, it is crucially important that our leaders reaffirm and uphold practices that are a longstanding part of how our immigration system works. We are grateful to our Democratic leaders in Congress who sought clarity on this issue.”

Johnson’s letter is available at https://chu.house.gov/sites/chu.house.gov/files/documents/DHS.Signed%20Response%20to%20Chu%2012.30.16.pdf.

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