U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that, as of Jan. 17, the federal government has approved 154,404 applications for deferred action from undocumented childhood arrivals who are seeking relief from deportation.
President Obama signed an executive order creating the DREAM Act alternative last year and so far the government has received close to 400,000 requests. Immigration officials believe as many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants who came to the country as children could be eligible for deferred action designation.
The government received another 16,543 in the most recent month in which statistics are available and approved 28,477 during that period.
The top states for applications received are California with 110,230, Texas (63,455), New York (23,389), Illinois (19,736) and Florida (18,470), where immigrant communities are large and widespread.
The leading countries of origin for applicants are Mexico with 290,019, followed by El Salvador (16,824), Honduras (10,882), Guatemala (9,904), Peru (5,974), South Korea (5,354), Brazil (5,098), Colombia (4,503) and Ecuador (4,386).
The deferred action program allows recipients to stay in the country and legally work or attend school for up to two years. It is renewable.