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Numbers don’t add up: Georgia says it has double the DACA recipients that fed statistics state

How many illegal aliens has former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided amnesty? That’s a question that may need some closer review.

A United States Citizenship and Immigration Services report (page 6) dated September 4 (the day before President Trump announced a pending end to the program) on the numbers of illegal aliens with DACA status in each state does not match with the number of DACA recipients to whom Georgia says it has issued a drivers license.

USCIS has the national total number of DACA recipients at 689,800, with 21,600 of these victims of borders living in Georgia. But a recent response letter from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s Commissioner of the Department of Driver Services (DDS — our DMV) to Georgia state Sen. Josh McKoon puts the number of drivers licenses and official state ID cards issued to DACA recipients at 48,935 — more than twice as many as the feds say live in the Peach State. And that was as of August 8.

DDS says it has has also issued some 8,700 official photo ID cards to those registered in DACA. Here in Georgia, an individual can obtain both the drivers license and ID Card.

Which number is accurate? Jeremy Redmon, the Institute for Justice and Journalism on Immigration Reporting — trained, immigration reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution uses the federal numbers in a Friday news item that also breaks down the stats offered for the Atlanta-metro area.

There is a lot of confusion in Georgia on the topic in general. In a 2015 email, the DDS Public Information Director explained to a statewide news outlet that DDS policy on deferred action was based on the DREAM Act, which we hear did not pass Congress.

LICENSE
Sample of a drivers license issued to all aliens in Georgia Department of Driver Services

And DDS has been telling state legislators for years that they don’t issue drivers licenses or ID cards to “undocumented or illegal immigrants.” They stick to “non-citizens with lawful status” or “non-citizens with lawful presence.” It has become quite a sensitive issue for the DDS lobbyist in the state Capitol.

The po-tay-to/po-tah-to word-play comes from the fact that the 2012 USCIS website explaining DACA clearly says “deferred action on deportation does not provide lawful status.”

But, the REAL ID Act of 2005 (2) (B) (vii) says deferred action status is “evidence of lawful status.” Got that?

The Georgia DDS uses the REAL ID Act definition, but a growing number of Georgians are waking up to the fact that only illegal aliens require deferred action on deportation. And that in real-speak, illegal aliens – including illegals who do not even have deferred action and who are already under deportation orders — are being issued the same REAL ID Act - approved drivers license that is given to legal immigrants and guest workers here on a temporary visas, like Mercedes Benz and Coca Cola executives.

These drivers licenses are used to board airliners literally every day at airports all over the country, including here in Atlanta at the busiest airport in the world.

It surprises a lot of people to learn that according to DHS, (Department of Homeland Security) Georgia has more illegal aliens than Arizona.

We hope the discrepancy in the stated numbers of DACA beneficiaries from USCIS and the database in the Georgia office in charge of the integrity of our driving and ID credentials gets some attention.

D.A. King is a long-time, pro-enforcement activist in Georgia and president of the Dustin Inman Society.

Photo: Georgia DDS

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