About 20,000 people in Upstate New York face deportation from President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, according to an advocacy group.
Known as DACA, the June 2012 executive order from former President Barack Obama granted renewable two-year work permits for those eligible.
Nearly 100,000 New Yorkers have been approved for DACA status; only California and Texas have more, federal immigration records show.
About 20,000 of them are in Upstate New York, according to the New York Immigration Coalition.
Those who received DACA came to the United States before their 16th birthday, were not above age 31, were currently in school or either had a high-school diploma or a GED. They could also have served in the armed forces.
They could also only receive deferred action if they had never been convicted of a felony, a serious misdemeanor or three or more other misdemeanors.
More than 100,000 people in New York are eligible for DACA, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Nationally, two-thirds of those who received DACA were brought to the United States before age 10, according to the Brookings Institute.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the Department of Homeland Security will no longer accept new applications for the program, which provided renewable, two-year work permits to the young immigrants.
The decision will become effective in six months, unless Congress provides its legislative fix first.
Nearly 100 protesters gathered in front of U.S. Rep. John Katko’s office Tuesday, railing against the action and calling on Katko to reverse it in Congress.
The activists said the act is cruel to the thousands of young people who stepped out of the shadows to identify themselves as having come to the country illegally.