How President Obama’s immigration policy could affect Illinois

A protester waves a flag during the March for a Moratorium on Deportations at Daley Plaza on Jan. 21, 2013 [Credit: Lucio Villa]

A protester waves a flag during the March for a Moratorium on Deportations at Daley Plaza on Jan. 21, 2013 [Credit: Lucio Villa]

Critics said President Obama overstepped his power when he used his executive authority Thursday to provide deportation relief and temporary permission to work to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. Others said the reforms did not go far enough.

The Migration Policy Institute, based in Washington, D.C., estimates that nearly half of all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. could benefit from the executive actions. Nationwide up to 3.8 million undocumented immigrants will be newly eligible for deportation relief, according to the Pew Research Center.

How will Obama’s executive order affect Illinois? Here are the numbers:

● The order could apply to an estimated 280,000 undocumented immigrants in the state.
● About 199,000 parents will become eligible for relief, and 81,000 people will become immediately eligible under an expanded Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
● In 2012, about 475,000 undocumented immigrants lived in Illinois, down from 500,000 in 2009, according to the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. Illinois was one of 14 states that saw a decrease during that period.
● Not all those eligible for relief will apply. The Migration Policy Institute estimates that only 55 percent of those eligible for DACA nationwide have applied for relief as of July 2014.

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