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After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive actions on immigration reform, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio held an impromptu press conference at New York City Hall.
During his remarks, he offered an estimate of the number of unauthorized immigrants in New York City who would be affected by the court’s ruling.
"Two hundred twenty-thousand New Yorkers would have immediately benefitted had President Obama’s executive action been affirmed," De Blasio said. "So almost a quarter million of our fellow New Yorkers who are hurting right now whose rights and opportunities were taken away by the Supreme Court."
De Blasio claimed that the Supreme Court’s ruling would damage the lives of 220,000 people in New York City. So did the Supreme Court ruling mean that many people lost their chance to legally remain in the country?
DAPA and DACA
Checking the accuracy of the mayor’s assertion requires accounting for the number of people affected by three actions by the Obama administration.
First, the administration started the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA, in 2012. DACA allows people who came to the United States before their 16th birthday to legally remain in the country for at least two years. After the two years, they can apply for renewal. To qualify for the program, immigrants could not be older than 31 in 2012. Immigrants also had to have a relatively clean criminal record and be on track to finish high school or already graduated. The Migration Policy Institute estimated 53,000 people in New York City eligible to legally remain in the country under the 2012 DACA program, slightly more than an estimate of 48,935 by the Center for Migration Studies
Second, in 2014, Obama expanded the DACA program. The age limit was lifted under the expansion. Some 15,701 people were eligible for the 2014 DACA extension, according to the Center for Migration Studies.
Third, Obama also created the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, in 2014. The new program allowed parents of U.S. citizens to legally stay in the country for at least three years, after which they would be eligible for renewal. The center said its research shows an estimated 143,064 immigrants eligible for DAPA in New York City.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are 627,000 unauthorized immigrants living in the five counties that make up New York City. Of those, 230,000 would have been eligible to legally remain in the country under either DAPA or DACA following the president’s 2014 actions, according to the institute.
In 2014, many Republicans criticized DACA but weren’t able to reverse Obama’s action. But the expansion of DACA and creation of DAPA led to a legal storm between the state of Texas and the Obama administration. Texas argued that the president’s 2014 actions violated the Constitution. The Supreme Court sided with Texas.
The decision struck down DAPA and the 2014 DACA expansion but left the original DACA program in place.
So how many would be affected in New York City?
When counting the number of people affected by the Supreme Court ruling, those eligible to legally remain in the country only because of the DAPA program or the 2014 expansion of DACA should be counted. That comes to just under 160,000 affected people, according to the Center for Migration Studies.
The Migration Policy Institute pegs it slightly higher at 180,000 immigrants. Those who were eligible for the original 2012 DACA program are still eligible to apply and be granted deferred action despite the court ruling.
A few groups track the number of people who were eligible under the 2014 actions, including the Migration Policy Institute. It is one of the few that have data available specifically for counties with high populations of unauthorized immigrants. That’s important because Mayor de Blasio was only referring to numbers in New York City.
Its data is the latest from the U.S. Census Bureau. The mayor’s office says it also used data from the bureau to come up with its number. The bureau does not directly ask people if they are authorized to live in the U.S. legally. Michelle Mittelstadt from the Migration Policy Institute says the institute considers the population and demographics of an area to come up with a final number, and it’s among the few that does so on a local level.
"The Census Bureau does not ask people their legal status with respect to being unauthorized," Mittelstadt said. "That leaves it to a small number of organizations who have developed methodology to essentially try to look at who among the foreign-born population is unauthorized."
At a press conference on June 23, Mayor de Blasio said, "Two hundred twenty thousand New Yorkers would have immediately benefitted had President Obama’s executive action been affirmed. So almost a quarter million of our fellow New Yorkers who are hurting right now whose rights and opportunities were taken away by the Supreme Court."
Based on the latest data, released in 2014, the mayor overestimated the number of unauthorized immigrants the Supreme Court ruling affected.
His office says the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity used its own methodology in conjunction with data from the Census Bureau to develop its estimate, but a 40,000-person difference reaches beyond a margin of error.
We rate this claim as Mostly False.https://www.sharethefacts.co/share/403adb52-46d0-44b0-ae81-863fe6318ba4
Press Conference from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, June 23, 2016
Phone conversation with Michelle Mittelstadt from the Migration Policy Institute
Phone conversation with Bob Warren from the Center for Migration Studies
Data Files from Bob Warren from the Center for Migration Studies (Emailed)
Data Files from the Migration Policy Institute
Eligibility Requirements for DACA from CIS, Accessed June 27, 2016
Eligibility Requirements for DAPA from National Immigration Law Center, Accessed June 27, 2016
"Those from Mexico will benefit most from Obama’s executive action" Pew Research Center, Accessed June 27, 2016
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