A measure that gives temporary legal status to illegal immigrants who came here as children is now a year old. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a presidential executive order that lets these kids avoid deportation and work legally, if they are attending or have finished school or military service and aren’t criminals.
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In Illinois, 26,000 have applied. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says that places Illinois third in the nation, behind California and Texas. “Illinois is particularly good at this. Sixty percent of the eligible have come forward to sign up in Illinois. We’re way ahead of many other states,” he said. But an estimated 17,000 here have not applied. Durbin says they may not know about the policy, may not realize they’re eligible, or they’re afraid if they come forward, they could be deported.