Study: Most Dream Act-eligible youth hail from Mexico — and a third live in California

Undocumented Unafraid

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Ana Venegas' parents brought her to the states from Guadalajara, Mexico when she was 10-months-old.

In June, the Obama administration said it would stop deporting young illegal immigrants who match certain criteria proposed under the Dream Act. The new administrative policy is known as deferred action — and in less than two weeks, young undocumented immigrants younger than 30 years old, and without a criminal record, will be able to apply to the program for a stop to their deportation and a temporary work permit.

In the meantime, a new study by the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center finds that there are approximately 1.4 million immigrants in the U.S. who might meet the requirements. More than 400,000 of those — about a third — are based in California.

Roughly 68 percent of potential beneficiaries are Mexican, 13 percent from other countries in North and Central America and the Caribbean, and about 8 percent are from Asia. Not surprisingly, the majority of California-based deferred action candidates are from Mexico — and live in the Los Angeles region.

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