More than 100,000 granted deferred action under deportation policy


More than 100,000 undocumented aliens who arrived in the country as children have been granted a 2-year deportation deferral and job authorization that can be renewed, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Dec. 14.

Latest statistics (.pdf) show that as of Dec. 13, USCIS has granted 102,965 deferrals since it began the program in August. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced deferred action as an extension of the administration's existing policy of prosecutorial discretion after several attempts to pass a bill known as the DREAM Act that would provide a permanent pathway to citizenship for those covered by the deferred action policy stalled in Congress.

The agency has received 367,903 applications so far and rejected so far 12,014 of them, for a rejection rate of about 3.3 percent.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates that 1.76 million young illegal immigrants are potentially eligible for deferred action and are mostly from Mexico, mostly already participate in the labor force and are disproportionately female. Nearly half a million of those eligible live in California, Texas, Florida and New York, the institute also estimates.

In Arizona, some deferred action recipients have banded together to sue the state of Arizona over an executive order signed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) that prevents beneficiaries from receiving a state driver's license.

For more:
- download the latest USCIS statistics on deferred action (.pdf)

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