Just Wondering?

The Department of Homeland Security has released thousands of deportable aliens from detention in anticipation of across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1.

Did anyone at DHS consider halting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which Congress never authorized and never appropriated one dime to run?

Just wondering?

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Exactly right, Ira. Perhaps you’ve been wondering as I have how much DACA is costing the American taxpayer. Thanks to the info provided in FAIR’s updated report on Obama’s counter-enforcement actions, I was able to track down some info and come up with an estimate of possibly 2 BILLION DOLLARS (explained below). Given the possibly substantial (and unauthorized) additional taxpayer costs caused by DACA, it seems Congress would be justified in prohibiting the expenditure of funds on this program for purely budgetary reasons in its next continuing resolution coming up at the end of March. In any case, Congress better stand up to Obama pretty soon, or else he might just implement his mass amnesty by fiat if Congress refuses to enact it.

    Explanation of estimate:
    An applicant for DACA must file with USCIS forms I-821D and I-765 and worksheet I-765W, where I-821D is a new form. According to the USCIS fee schedule, there is no fee for processing this new form or the existing worksheet, there is a fee of $380 for processing the existing form, and there is a biometrics fee of $85. So the taxpayer is bearing all costs of processing the new form I-821D, other than the cost of the related biometric check. Six months ago, Grassley and Smith sent a letter to Napolitano asking for the cost of processing I-821D, and have not received a response (which in itself should be cause for a Congressional investigation and/or subpoena). In their letter, they indicated that the cost could be the same as for the existing Form I-687, which is $1,130. (As far as I know, this is the only public estimate anyone has made of the cost of processing an I-821D.) USCIS has received 438,372 DACA applications as of Feb. 14. Therefore, the possible taxpayer cost of DACA so far is half a billion dollars ($495,360,360). The Migration Policy Institute has estimated that a total of 1.76 million people could apply for DACA. Therefore, the possible final taxpayer cost of DACA is 2 billion dollars ($1,988,800,000). These costs do not include the cost of processing applications from applicants to whom USCIS has granted an exemption from paying the fees of $380 and $85. According to internal DHS documents obtained by AP, up to 25% of the applicants ($121 million in exempted application fees divided by $485 million in total application fees) might be granted the exemption. This would add another 200 million dollars ($204,600,000) to the final cost. I assume these costs also do not include the cost of establishing and maintaining the DACA program infrastructure (fixed, overhead, and G&A costs).

  2. avatar

    When It Comes to Demographic Overpopulation/Environmental Planning/Avoidance

    And enforcement of immigration laws on the books….is this country run without a brain?