Students Maria Sofia, left, and Malendez Campos, protest at a “Right to Dream” rally Thursday May 17, 2012 in Los Angeles. The Demonstrators were protesting the deportation of undocumented immigrants by the Obama Administration. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Group estimates nearly 1.8 million undocumented immigrants could avoid deportation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Migration Policy Institute says 360,000 more illegal immigrants than previously thought could qualify for deferred deportation when President Barack Obama’s new policy takes effect August 15.

The private institute’s U.S. Immigration Policy Program said Tuesday that as many as 1.76 million people could benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program. In June, the institute said an estimated 1.4 million immigrants could be eligible.

Under the program, students currently enrolled in school could be granted a two-year reprieve from deportation if they can show they came to the U.S. under age 16; lived there for five years and have not been convicted of certain crimes. Previously, the program was open only to those who have graduated high school, received a GED or honorably left the military.

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