Congress passes legislation authored by a Republican congressman, Chris Smith, granting political asylum to a maximum of 1,000 people who can prove their home countries forced abortions or sterilizations as a result of population control programs. But the burden of proof is high and the State Department has denied many claims. This was reinforced in 1997, when the Board of Immigration Appeals concluded that a husband could prove he had been persecuted if his wife had been forced to have an abortion or undergo sterilization. However, a ruling by the 2nd . Circuit Court of Appeals in July of 2015 found that . law does not automatically grant asylum to spouses or partners in cases in which the women have been persecuted under China's family-planning policy , which limits most urban couples to one child.
Notable exceptions to that pattern were President Barack Obama’s two recent executive actions on unauthorized immigration—Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012 and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) in 2014. DACA allowed young adults, ages 15 to 30, who had been brought illegally to the . as children to apply for deportation relief and a temporary work permit. In 2014, the president eliminated the age limits for DACA eligibility. Under DAPA, some unauthorized immigrants with .-born children were allowed to apply for deportation relief and a work permit. The 2014 actions are on hold because of a legal challenge filed by 26 states ( Lopez and Krogstad, 2015 ).