A pro-amnesty group is forecasting that up to 1.76 million young illegal immigrants would get work permits under President Barack Obama’s de facto amnesty announced in June, amid a stalled economy and near-record levels of unemployment.
That estimate is twice as large as the 800,000 new workers predicted by White House officials.
Another 800,000 illegal immigrant youths will be eligible for the de facto amnesty once they graduate, said the report, released Aug. 7 by the Migration Policy Institute, a well-funded, D.C.-based pro-amnesty group.
The new estimate says the de facto amnesty would add as may workers to the legal rolls as the economy has created during the last 12 months, or during all of 2011. Currently, roughly 23 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed, or have dropped out of the workforce.
The officials unemployment rate is currently 8.3 percent, and that number is much higher among young people and minorities.
For example, half of African-Americans in New York are unemployed, and almost half of adults aged 18 to 24 are unemployed. Unemployment among Latinos is also high, with 10.3 percent recorded in July as formally unemployed and still looking for work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The new estimates was released after administration officials relaxed the eligibility rules for the controversial amnesty plan, which was first announced by Obama in a June Rose Garden speech.