KENNEWICK, Wash. -- While the immigration debates continue, President Obama recently changed a deportation policy to defer the process for young people who are low enforcement priorities.
Up to 1.4 million children and young adults who are in the united states illegally could potentially benefit from the announcement by the Obama administration, according to an estimate from the pew Hispanic center.
"This is somewhat of a light in the darkness. I think they, that we've established a little bit more hope now that the president has now acknowledged all of their hard work and we're hopeful it will pay off," explains Jazmin Santacruz of OneAmerica.
The 1.4 million estimate includes 700,000 unauthorized immigrants who are 18 to 30 but arrived in the U.S. as children and are currently enrolled in school or have graduated from high school and additional 700,000 who are under the age of 18 and are enrolled in school.
Those who demonstrate that they meet the criteria will be eligible to receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization.