Undocumented immigrants in the Northwest are more likely to take part in a deportation deferral program than immigrants elsewhere, according to a new study from the Migration Policy Institute.
These findings come three years after President Barack Obama relaxed deportation procedures for immigrants who crossed the border as children.
The Migration Policy Institute's Randy Capps said Oregon is above average because the Northwest has many immigrants from Mexico — and those are the immigrants most likely to take part in DACA.
Capps said Oregon's numbers could be higher.
"We believe that there's a large population out there — perhaps as large as five or six thousand — that are not in school, don't have a high school degree, but if they enrolled in an adult education program, they could qualify," Capps said.
Capps said about 10,600 immigrants are taking part in Oregon currently — out of an eligible population of about 13,000. In addition to the thousands who don't qualify due to the education requirement, the Migration Policy Institute said a roughly equal number is likely to qualify in the years to come, when they're old enough.
The Migration Policy Institute focused on the original deferred action program, from 2012. Last year's proposed expansion is facing a lawsuit.