Angered by Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigrants, protesters took to the streets on Saturday to denounce the new law and call on President Barack Obama to act urgently on immigration reform at May Day rallies across the United States. (Photo : REUTERS/Joshua Lott )
Good news for all those supporting helping out America's undocumented immigrant population. A recent report from the Migration Policy Institute says that up to 1.8 million undocumented immigrants could receive benefits that will stave off deportation for two years and allow them to find legal work here in the United States.
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This marks an increase of 500,000 from previous estimates thanks to newly released guidelines that allow for more leeway.
"The MPI estimates are up from the 1.39 million figure provided on June 15 - reflecting the updated DHS guidelines that youth lacking a high school or GED degree would be eligible to apply for deferred action as long as they have re-enrolled by the date of their application," reads the report.
An excerpt from the report outlining the requirements:
"The DACA initiative would offer a two year grant of reprieve from deportation as well as work authorization for unauthorized immigrants who were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012 and who can demonstrate that they meet the following criteria:
- Entered the United States before the age of 16
- Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007 and up to the present time, and were physically present on June 15, 2012 and at the time of application
- Are currently in school, have graduated from high school or earned a GED, or are honorably discharged veterans of the US armed forces (including the Coast Guard)
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more misdemeanors; or otherwise pose a threat to public safety or national security
- Entered the country illegally or overstayed their visa prior to June 15, 2012."
Earlier efforts stemming from 2001 to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, have largely failed.
While some argue that those brought here unwillingly (as minors) and have contributed positively to American society should be allowed their rightful place among Americans, there are others who feel that this would simply condemn an illegal action.
"No surprise here; without a proper legislative foundation, without a proper evaluation of the impact on taxpayers, communities and the labor market, with only the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen, we see here an assertion of absolute power that will simply corrupt indefinitely," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group in favor of strict immigration.