It seems unfair that someone who was brought to Los Angeles or the rest of the country illegally as a young child should be punished for something that was out of his or her control. Many argue that because these children were more or less raised in the U.S. and attended school here, this country is all that they know and that they are as much American as those who were born here.

This is the basis of an immigration program known as deferred action that was announced a year ago. The program allows immigrants who were brought to the country as children to apply to live and work in the country under legal status. A new study released from the Brookings Institution aims to educate Americans on just who the program’s applicants are. The study included data on applicants from the first day the applications were accepted to March 22, 2013.

It comes as no surprise that a majority of the applicants live in states like California, Texas and Florida where there is a large population of foreign-born people. A large percentage of the applications came in during the first few months of the program. Those who applied for deferred action were born in 192 different countries, but around 75% of applicants are from Mexico. Two-thirds of applicants were under the age of 11 when they came to the U.S.; nearly one in three were 5 or younger.

If you are interested in applying for deferred action, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney who can get your application started and guide you in the right direction toward obtaining legal status in the United States.

Source: The New York Times, “Study Offers a Picture of Young Immigrants Seeking a Reprieve From Deportation,” Kirk Semple, Aug. 14, 2013