As the Obama administration readies for a rush of applications from young illegal immigrants seeking work permits, a new study predicts one of the largest contingents will come from the Bay Area, perhaps more than from all of Arizona.
And while the majority of the applicants here and across the country were born in Mexico, the Bay Area also has a large number of Asian immigrant youths who are likely to benefit from the new policy.
More than 46,000 Bay Area immigrants who are younger than 31 and were brought to the country illegally when they were children could immediately qualify for two-year, renewable work permits and protection from being deported. Another 19,000 here are children younger than 15 who could benefit when they grow older, according to the estimates by the Immigration Policy Center, an advocacy and research group based in Washington, D.C.
That's about 65,000 young immigrants eligible for relief, more than the 53,000 estimated in the entire state of Arizona and the roughly 39,000 each in New Jersey and Georgia. California as a whole has about 30 percent of all potential beneficiaries.
Nationwide, the policy center joins other researchers in saying nearly 1 million could immediately qualify when the policy takes effect Aug. 15, but the center is the first to make regional estimates.