CNN’s Tapper Silent as Kasich Makes Dubious DACA Deportation Claim

Host says nothing as the Ohio governor and unrelenting Trump critic mistakenly insists feds are deporting thousands of 'dreamers'

Jake Tapper of CNN allowed Ohio Gov. John Kasich to claim without challenge on Friday that agents of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency are deporting “thousands” of so-called dreamers under President Donald Trump.

Tapper had the “NeverTrump” Republican on his Friday afternoon show, CNN’s “The Lead,” when Kasich made the claim.

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“I don’t like the fact we have these ICE agents going in and grabbing people and deporting them,” said Kasich. “We’ve already lost I don’t know how many thousands of dreamers that have been deported. I mean, this breakdown is terrible.”

Kasich did not share his “breakdown” of the numbers, even though he was there to talk about his op-ed column in The New York Times, published Thursday, urging amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Dreamers are adult-age beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, of which there are presently an estimated 800,000 in the U.S. (The word is a reference to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.) They were brought here as children by their parents or other relatives, who illegally crossed the border. Former President Barack Obama issued protections for dreamers in 2012 through an executive order.

Trump rescinded the order in September 2017 because it entirely bypassed Congress, but documents issued under DACA aren’t due to begin expiring until March. Typically, dreamers with DACA papers can be deported only if they have committed a crime. Hundreds of DACA recipients have lost their protection, but only because they committed some form of crime, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

It’s a point Kasich didn’t make — and a point on which Tapper didn’t call Kasich. Tapper has shut down pro-Trump Republicans for much less, as when he cut off White House adviser Stephen Miller in a fiery exchange Sunday.

Also Friday, ICE agents took much harsher criticism and accusations on MSNBC when NPR host Mario Hinojosa, who covers Hispanic issues, compared ICE employees to Gestapo thugs under Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany.

“When the president says this, basically — ‘Take them out’ — that is what the community is saying: ‘This is fearful for us. This is the Gestapo on us,'” Hinojosa told MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. “The troops on the ground of ICE, they’re ready to swing into action.” (The “take them out” comment was reportedly made by Trump in reference to Haitians, in a Thursday meeting, but in regard to a provision in pending immigration legislation.)

Given that upstate New York shares a border with Canada, it’s not unusual for ICE agents to board trains and buses many miles from the border and ask for documents.

Hinojosa also said ICE agents “misidentify” themselves as police, even though ICE agents indeed have police powers as a federal law enforcement agency.

Later on Twitter, Hinojosa defended her claim that ICE agents are boarding trains and buses asking for citizenship documents. When asked where, Hinojosa said, “Upstate New York.”

But given that upstate New York shares a border with Canada, it’s not unusual for ICE agents to board trains and buses many miles from the border and ask for documents. Agents are allowed to board buses and trains as far as 100 miles from U.S. borders, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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Political reporter, LifeZette. Indiana University journalism grad. Boston U. business grad. Former Indiana, Alabama statehouse reporter, Daytona Beach editorial writer.