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Migration Policy Institute Estimates 1.8 Million Illegal Aliens Eligible for Executive Amnesty

Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 10:35 AM EDT

A new estimate from the Migration Policy Institute puts the number of illegal aliens who could receive amnesty from the Obama Administration's deferred action policy at 1.8 million. The number is up 500,000 from the institute's initial estimate, but takes the policy's procedures into account. The procedures were made public by the Department of Homeland Security late last week.

When the policy was first announced in June, administration officials said it would impact 800,000 illegal aliens.

The major policy change impacting the overall numbers deals with an applicant's level of education. When the policy was first announced, it required applicants to currently be in school or have a high school diploma or a GED. (Read DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano's memo.) But under the guidelines released on Friday, illegal aliens not currently enrolled in school can re-enroll before they submit their application and still be eligible.

The policy goes into effect on August 15 and will provide a type of prosecutorial discretion called deferred action to any illegal alien who is 30 or younger, is in school or has a high school diploma or GED, and attends college or is in the military. Applicants will also be able to apply for work permits. The policy is similar to provisions in the DREAM Act amnesty bill which has been voted down three times by Congress since 2007.

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