Another nearly 50,000 young immigrants are staying in the country without fear of deportation under an Obama administration directive.
A total of 47,655 immigrants who arrived or stayed in the country illegally were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals during the final three months of last year, which make up the first quarter of 2014 fiscal year, according to information released by Citizenship and Immigration Services Friday.
The deportation deferrals give a temporary reprieve to young immigrants, many brought to the country by their parents. The young immigrants often refer to themselves as DREAMers, borrowing the name of legislation that would have addressed their status in the U.S.
Republicans have pointed to the deferrals as an example of how President Barack Obama has failed to enforce immigration laws. On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner cast doubt on chances for immigration reform getting through Congress this year. The reason, he said, is some Republicans don't trust the president will enforce immigration laws. Some GOP members also face tough primaries this year and immigration is a prickly issue for them.
Since the deferrals began, 521,815 young immigrants have been approved for DACA, according to the data. Another 15,968 have been rejected.
The deferral is for two years. With it, young immigrants also have permission to work.
To qualify, immigrants have to have been under 31 as of June 15, 2012. They also have to either be in school, graduated from high school or have an equivalent diploma, be honorably discharged veterans, have not committed certain categories of crimes and not be a security threat.
First published February 7 2014, 9:47 AM
Suzanne Gamboa is a senior writer for NBCNews.com. She started in January 2014. Gamboa is responsible for editing, reporting and writing stories about Latinos and how the population's expansion is reshaping the U.S. Gamboa joined NBCNews.com from NBC Latino, where she was political editor, responsible for writing, editing and assigning political coverage.
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Prior to her role at NBC Latino, Gamboa had worked 13 years in the Washington, D.C. bureau of The Associated Press, where she covered politics, immigration and border and U.S.-Mexico issues, veterans, the Texas congressional delegation and most recently race and ethnicity, a beat she helped build. She also worked at the AP in Texas and at the Austin American-Statesman.
Gamboa lives in Washington, D.C.