03/16/2013 01:59 pm ET

Applications For Deferred Action Dropped To Lowest Rate In January

Since the Obama administration kicked in a reprieve from deportation in August, the number of undocumented immigrants who are applying for it has been declining, said a Wall Street Journal story, citing the Department of Homeland Security.

Slightly more than 30,000 immigrants applied in January, the lowest monthly total since the program began, the newspaper reported. Some 15,000 applied by the middle of February, a huge change when compared with the 113,000 applications the agency received in October, the newspaper said.

Experts speculate that the anticipation that Congress will pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would, among other things, offer millions of undocumented immigrants a path to legalization may have lessened the sense of urgency to apply for the reprieve.

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