U.S. high schools are graduating nearly 100,000 unauthorized immigrants per year, according to a study released Wednesday.
The Migration Policy Institute’s (MPI) research found 98,000 were graduating per year in 2016, an increase from 65,000 a year in 2003.
California, Texas and Florida graduated 50 percent of unauthorized immigrants. (RELATED: Criminal Charges Against Students Involved With Border Patrol Confrontation Dropped)
The report cites several reasons for the increase in graduates like increase in illegal immigration and policies that support unauthorized immigrants to receive higher education.
Unauthorized immigrants who graduated from high school used to be eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows children of illegal immigrants to work and study in the U.S. without getting deported. Current recipients can renew the status, but the program no longer accepts new applications.
“While high school graduation represents an important milestone in the lives of many young people, these graduates will be at risk of deportation and will face severely limited opportunities to pursue further work and education,” the study said.
The report studied 15 to 19-year-old unauthorized immigrants who lived in the U.S. for at least five years and who reached graduation age each year. This number came out to be 125,000. Graduation rates based on race, ethnicity and English-speaking factors were then applied to reach the 98,000 number.
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