Congresswoman Roybal-Allard Sends Letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro, Imploring Department to Adapt More Equitable Legal Practices and Standards

Press Release

Date: March 23, 2022
Location: Los Angeles, California
Issues: Immigration

"As it stands now, an application for Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can be denied for offenses as minor as expunged traffic violations," said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard, today.

"As a DACA recipient, I have been able to benefit from the various doors that have opened once I had a work permit and protection from deportation. By narrowly construing the criminal bars to DACA applicants, ensuring DHS' approach to criminal bars are consistent with the criminal justice system, and providing publicly accessible data on the number of applications denied due to criminal charges, DHS will allow others with the same access I have had. We will continue to push for a pathway to citizenship," said Eliana Fernandez, LA RED Immigration Director.

"Far too often, minor traffic offenses can be the deciding factor the equation when evaluating whether to grant a DACA application. This injustice is regularly compounded by racial disparities that are far too often perpetrated by local law enforcement. Because DACA applicants face different penalties for minor traffic offenses depending on the state where they are committed, their DACA eligibility is effectively based on location, including whether a state issues a felony for multiple infractions of driving without a license. As our letter outlines, DACA-eligible youth should not be defined by minor tragic offenses that local courts have already expunged from their records and the Department of Homeland Security should not have the authority or the jurisdiction to re-adjudicate decisions made by local and state authorities," said Congresswoman Roybal-Allard.

"The Department of Homeland Security must adapt more equitable practices and standards when processing DACA applications. We must work together to limit the negative effects traffic stops have had on immigrant communities."