President Barack Obama’s move to stop deportations of many undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children may benefit as many as 1.7 million people age 30 and under, according to estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center.
The new rules go into effect tomorrow. The Pew report said that 950,000 people would be eligible immediately and another 770,000 people in the future as they meet the criteria set by Obama. The Pew figures are twice as high as the estimate of 800,000 given when Obama announced the policy on June 15.
About 85 percent of those eligible to remain in the U.S. and apply for permits allowing them to work are Hispanic, according to the center, a project of the Washington-based Pew Research Center.
Under the policy, the government would stop deportations of those who arrived in the U.S. before age 16; have lived in the U.S. for at least five years; are in school, have a high school diploma or equivalent or have been honorably discharged from military service; and don’t have any criminal convictions.
The policy would affect more than 10 percent of the estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., according to Pew.
Congressional Republicans have blocked action on legislation with similar rules, known as the Dream Act. That measure has been backed by Obama and opposed by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Obama’s policy may buttress his political support from Hispanics, who gave him 67 percent of their votes in 2008, according to an analysis of exit polls by the Pew Hispanic Center.