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How Can Obama Get to 5M Immigrants With Executive Action?

Image: A sign is displayed in support of Angela Navarro, an undocumented Honduran-born immigrant with a deportation order, who moved into West Kensington Ministry Church with her family - her husband and two U.S. born children, in Philadelphia

A sign is displayed in support of Angela Navarro, an undocumented Honduran-born immigrant with a deportation order, who moved into West Kensington Ministry Church with her family - her husband and two U.S. born children, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 18, 2014. Navarro, who has "always lived in fear" of deportation said on Tuesday she moved into a Philadelphia church as part of a national civil disobedience action aimed at pressing President Obama on immigration reform. Navarro is the ninth undocumented immigrant who has taken refuge in a church recently as part of what activists are calling the New Sanctuary Movement. Organizers offer sanctuary in churches because federal guidelines prohibit arrests in sensitive areas unless there is a threat to public safety or national security. REUTERS/Mark Makela (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS RELIGION) MARK MAKELA / Reuters

Who will benefit from executive action on immigration?

There are around 11.2 million immigrants illegally in the U.S., according to the latest Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project estimates. The number is basically unchanged since 2009, though there have been fluctuations in several states.

Obama to Bypass Congress on Immigration with Executive Action 2:16

But the president has repeatedly warned that any executive action he would take would be unlikely to include the entire estimated population, as some immigration advocates have wanted. According to media reports and sources who spoke to NBC News Latino on Wednesday, the president’s plans would cover about 5 million people.

Many advocates expect much of the relief will go to parents of U.S. citizen and legal resident children and possibly to additional young immigrants here illegally.

If so, the Migration Policy Institute estimated there are:

–– 3.7 million parents of citizens or legal permanent residents (including some who are over 18). This number is based on how many have been in the U.S. at least five years.

-- 300,000 additional young immigrants who could become eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, if the current age of eligibility of 30 years old is eliminated and the requirement to have lived in the U.S. since 2007 changes to 2010.

–– Currently 1.2 million young immigrants not legally in the U.S. qualify for DACA. With the changes, the total number of young immigrants eligible for DACA rises to a total of 1.5 million. Add that to the 3.7 million and the number is about 5.2 million.

Absent from the list may be parents who are in the U.S. illegally and whose children are not here legally or have DACA. But, there are a number of parents of young immigrants granted DACA who also have citizen or legal resident children.