News

Obama Immigration Plan Could Spare 90,000-Plus Arizona Residents From Deportation

UPDATE November 21: Now that the president has outlined his plan, the Migration Policy Institute estimates 136,000 people in Arizona will be shielded from deportation. That includes 97,000 parents, and an additional 39,000 people who will be eligible for the expanded provisions of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

President Obama hasn't yet outlined the details of his executive action on immigration, but based on what's been reported so far, it could protect 90,000 people in Arizona from deportation.

The New York Times has reported that the major part of Obama's plan is to allow the unauthorized immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children to remain in the country and work without the threat of deportation.

The Migration Policy Institute today released a detailed report of the unauthorized population in the country, which shows 92,000 unauthorized immigrants living in Arizona with U.S. citizen children.

See also: -Arizona's Unauthorized Immigrant Population Decreasing

However, there could be other classes of unauthorized immigrants who get protection under Obama's plan, which he's set to announce tonight.

"We, like everyone else, don't know exactly what's going to be announced," says Randy Capps, a director of research for the Migration Policy Institute. "It's just premature at this point to be able to exactly identify that population."

The Migration Policy Institute has nationwide estimates of how many people could be affected under various scenarios, but it hasn't done that at a statewide level.

The estimates range from 2.5 million to 4.1 million people being affected, depending on what Obama does.

That could include things like protections given to parents of U.S. citizen children only if the parents have been in the country for 10 years or more, or the possibility that protections are extended to parents of young unauthorized immigrants who already have been granted deferred action

No matter what the circumstances are, the Migration Policy Institute is going to create estimates of how many people will be affected.

"As soon as there is an announcement of executive action, we will be very quickly coming out with the detailed estimates of how many people would be potentially eligible for it," says Marc Rosenblum from the Migration Policy Institute.

The following video was posted on the White House Facebook page today, in which President Obama explains that he'll be addressing the nation on immigration tonight, and also will discuss immigration at a Las Vegas high school on Friday.

Got a tip? Send it to: Matthew Hendley.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley