Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Migration Policy Institute: More Than Half of Eligible Youth Seek ‘Deferred Action’

More than half of young undocumented immigrants who are eligible to apply for the federal “deferred action” program have done so, according to a new report from the Migration Policy Institute.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects those who qualify from deportation and also allows them to work. The report, “DACA at the Two-Year Mark: A National and State Profile of Youth Eligible and Applying for Deferred Action,” offers detailed data about the applicants.

The report measured how many young people who were eligible to apply did so, in each state.According to the report, Arizona had the highest number of eligible young people apply — at 66 percent.

Texas was close behind at 64 percent. The national rate was 55 percent of a total 1.2 million immediately eligible to apply, according to the study. According to the report, Mexicans make up about 65 percent of the eligible youth.

“This analysis provides a mixed picture of DACA’s first two years,” said MPI President Michael Fix in a press release. “On the one hand, the sheer volume of applicants is impressive. On the other, hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth have not yet gained a status that can change their lives in measurable ways, allowing them improved job prospects, the ability to apply for driver’s licenses and more.”