Immigration Law

Despite Uncertainties, Lots of Applications Likely as 'Deferred Action' Immigration Program Launches

Even as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting applications Wednesday for the new “deferred action” program promising a temporary two-year enforcement reprieve for some illegal immigrants, exactly how the program will work won’t be entirely clear until it is up and running.

But despite uncertainties—as well as concern about relatives and friends who don’t qualify, which the feds have tried to alleviate by promising application information won’t be shared with those in charge of enforcing immigration law against others—it appears that a deluge of applications from up to 1.7 million eligible young people is likely, the New York Times (reg. req.) reports.

Those who are approved for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program can get social security numbers, driver’s licenses, work legally and qualify to attend college and get scholarship aid, the newspaper notes.

A photo accompanying an Associated Press article published in the Houston Chronicle shows some of the hundreds of people reportedly standing in line on Tuesday outside the Mexican consulate there, as they sought documents needed to apply. A $465 fee is also required, along with proof of identity and eligibility.

A USCIS Web page as well as a National Immigration Law Center site provide answers to frequently asked questions about the new program, and a federal lawmaker offers advice on The Hill’s Congress Blog about why those eligible would benefit from applying.

Additional coverage: “As Immigrants Seek Info on New ‘Deferred Action’ Program, Experts Say Delay Is Advisable”

Contra Costa Times: “Biggest immigration relief in a generation begins Wednesday”

Government Security News: “USCIS prepared for childhood deferral filings”

Politics Now (Los Angeles Times): “Obama administration’s immigration changes begin Wednesday”

Updated at 3:46 p.m. to include Associated Press coverage.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.