Illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. enrolled in DACA will not be a priority for deportation for the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told CBSNews Tuesday.
.@SecNielsen on #DACA deportations: “It’s not going to be a priority of @ICEgov to prioritize their removal. I’ve said that before. That’s not the policy of DHS.” https://t.co/PM1g9bB6jj pic.twitter.com/g91D33pne6
— CBS This Morning ❄️ (@CBSThisMorning) January 16, 2018
Nielsen’s comments come as Democratic and Republican lawmakers near a possible government shutdown over the future of the Obama-era protections for illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. Trump ended the program in September and told Congress if it wanted to keep the protections then it had to end chain migration, include funding for a border wall, and end the diversity visa lottery system.
If Democrats and Republicans fail to reach a deal on DACA by March the program will expire and illegal immigrants under the program will become eligible for deportation. Nielsen however said “It’s not gonna be a priority of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prioritize their removal. I’ve said that before. That’s not the – that’s not the policy of DHS.”
The secretary added “If you are a DACA that’s compliant with your registration, meaning you haven’t committed a crime, and you in fact are registered, you’re not priority of enforcement for ICE should the program end,” but noted that if the recipient committed a crime “we will enforce the law.”