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Surprise – Dreamers Are Young!

August 19, 2013
Plain English Version

President Obama offered young people who came to the U.S. with their undocumented parents a chance to study and work in this country.

The program is called Deferred Action. It started during the middle of the presidential campaign last year. It helped Obama gain the vote of many Latino and Asian immigrants who are now citizens.

Only young people between the ages of 15 and 30 could apply for the program. Now, the first study of who applied has come out. Most were under 21. More than a third were younger than 19.

When their parents came to the U.S., the Dreamers were children. One-third of them were five years of age or younger.

This makes sense. Most undocumented border crossers were young adults looking for work opportunities in the states. They brought their young children with them when they came.

The study shows that Deferred Action applicants came from all U.S. states, with the most coming from the big immigrant states. They originally came from 192 countries. About 75 percent came from Mexico. Only four percent came from Asian countries. That is a surprise.

In the first eight months of the program, there were 465,509 applications. By June 2013 the number reached 557,400. The number of applicants now is going down. Most youngsters who could show that they lived at home since arriving in the U.S. applied early.

Supporters of the program say these young people are American in all but their legal status. It is widely believed that immigration reform will help them become legal Americans. However, the last time Republicans in the House voted on the Dreamers they voted to defund the Deferred Action program.

Source: The New York Times

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