California and Texas are home to nearly half of all undocumented youth who stand to benefit from the Obama administration’s “deferred action” policy, which will allow such young people to apply for relief from deportation and the opportunity to obtain legal work permits.
Nearly 70 percent of the youth across all states who are potential beneficiaries are at least 15 years old, making them eligible to apply right now. And roughly 68 percent of all beneficiaries are Mexican nationals. Just about 8 percent of beneficiaries are from Asian countries.
These new details on who and where such youth—called DREAMers because of the long-stalled DREAM Act federal legislation which would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children—comes from the Immigration Policy Center. The center released a new breakdown of these young people just as federal immigration authorities are gearing up to begin considering deferred action applications.
These youth are living in every state in the country, though their numbers are tiny in Montana, North Dakota, and Vermont.
An earlier analysis from the Migration Policy Institute found that more than 1.3 million undocumented youth under the age of 30 will be potentially eligible for relief.
The Immigration Policy Center even breaks down the population by Congressional district. Congressional District 4 of Arizona—which encompasses central and south Phoenix—is home to the most potential beneficiaries, with more than 19,000 such undocumented youth. Congressional District 3 in West Virginia—which includes Huntington, the state’s second largest city—has the fewest potential beneficiaries at 60.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.