New estimates show that 1.3 million illegal immigrants were immediately eligible to apply for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2016, with 625,000 more on the cusp, according to a study released by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI).
That could put the DACA population at 1.9 million, the equivalent of the 5th largest city in the U.S., behind Houston, all of whom are in jeopardy of being deported if President Donald Trump decides to end the Obama-era program, also known as "Dreamers."
The breakdown of the DACA population, according to MPI:
- As of March, 887,000 of those 1.3 million — 68 percent — had applied for benefits; applications are highest among youth from Mexico and Central America.
- Three hundred and nighty-eight thousand met every eligibility requirement except for education, but could still apply if they were working to attain a diploma or GED.
- Another 228,000 would age into the required age of 15 years old, provided they stayed in school.
The previous estimates put the potential DACA population at 1.1 million, according to the Washington Examiner.
Ten states have threatened to sue if Trump does not phase out DACA by Tuesday.
Trump is expected to rescind the program but allow for a 6-month grace period to mitigate the impact on the 887,000 currently protected by DACA, but also to give Congress a window to find a legislative solution.
MPI is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank in Washington, D.C., dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide, according to its website.
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