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Immigration News in NY: Queens Is Top NYC Borough With Undocumented Immigrants Eligible for DACA, DAPA Programs

First Posted: Jan 16, 2015 04:30 PM EST
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More than half a million undocumented immigrants are living within the five boroughs of New York City, but slightly more than 230,000 are eligible for the deferred action programs created by President Barack Obama.

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) released details data on featuring estimates of major U.S. counties and its undocumented immigrants population. The MPI's details include "population size, countries of origin, recency of arrival, educational enrollment and attainment, health insurance coverage, poverty levels and potential eligibility for the two deferred action programs launched by the Obama administration."

The two deferred action programs are the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). The latter program was announced during Obama's Nov. 20, 2014, primetime address on immigration executive action.

MPI's data profiled 94 counties across the U.S. and discovered the five counties with the largest populations potentially eligible for either DACA and DAPA relief are Los Angeles, California; Harris, Texas; Orange, California; Cook, Illinois; and Dallas, Texas, accounting for 1.1 million people, or more than one-fifth of the total potentially eligible population nationwide, which MPI estimates at 5.2 million.

"Our analysis shows that deferred action is likely to affect counties differently," said Randy Capps, director of research for MPI's U.S. programs. "In general those counties with the most Mexican immigrants among the unauthorized have the highest share who are eligible for DACA or DAPA, with the majority of these counties being in California and Texas."

Capps said undocumented Mexican immigrants are most likely to be "well established" in the U.S. and establish "mixed-status families," meaning a household with undocumented parents and U.S.-citizen or legal permanent resident children, which could qualify them for the DAPA program in.

Within New York City, 643,000 undocumented immigrants were estimated by MPI with Queens being home to most of them, specifically 246,000. However, 91,000 undocumented immigrants living in Queens are found to be eligible for DAPA or DACA. After Queens Brooklyn -- or Kings County -- has the second-highest population eligible for either deferred action programs with 71,000 due to large populations of Mexicans, Chinese, Ecuadorians, Guyanese and Jamaicans.

The Bronx ranked third with the total population of undocumented immigrants with 117,000, but only 43,000 are eligible for DACA or DAPA. The Bronx was found to have large immigrant populations from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica and Honduras. Manhattan, labeled as New York County, was projected to be home for 83,000 undocumented immigrants, including 25,000 eligible for DACA or DAPA. Manhattan is home to many Mexicans, Dominicans, Chinese, Ecuadorians and Japanese.

Richmond County, more commonly known as Staten Island, has the least totals among the five boroughs with 8,000 undocumented immigrants eligible for DACA or DAPA from the total 16,000 total undocumented immigrants in the borough.

MPI's data release comes as NYC became the largest city to grant municipal identification cards for undocumented immigrants, and thousands have registered to receive one.  

From all 94 countries across the U.S., MPI said 5.2 million undocumented immigrants are eligible for DACA or DAPA, which represents 46 percent from the overall 11.4 million total U.S. undocumented population.

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