Tarrant County has seen a dramatic spike in the number of requests for criminal record searches from Dream Act hopefuls seeking to gain U.S. citizenship. The “Dreamers,” as some call the illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, hope to be granted deferred action under an Obama administration directive. As many as 800,000 undocumented young people in the U.S. could qualify under deferred action, some estimates show. Applicants must submit to a background check and have a clean record without felonies and serious misdemeanors, or any evidence of being a threat to the country. As a result, demand for felony record searches has almost tripled over the last two weeks, District Clerk Tom Wilder said Tuesday. In late July, Wilder said his clerks ran 58 searches. By comparison, 169 searches were recorded the week of Aug. 13-17, Wilder said. Department of Homeland Security officials are expected to decide each case. Wilder said it is using the data from Tarrant County as a “screening” tool.