By Jamey Dunn, Illinois Issues
A new policy from President Barack Obama’s administration opens the door for thousand of undocumented young residents of the state to temporarily avoid the fear of deportation.
Since Friday undocumented youths can apply for a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which offers two-year renewable reprieves from deportation. To qualify, applicants must be able to prove that they are 30 or younger, that they came to the country before they turned 16 and that they are students, graduates or have served in the military. Those applying must have must have clean criminal records.
Applicants may also be eligible for work permits. Fred Tsao, policy director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), said an August 16 Chicago event to assist potential applicants, which the group helped organize, had an estimated attendance of 13,000 people. He said that the crowd was so big that organizers had to turn some people away. Tsao said that about 7,500 people received advice, and 1,500 received assistance with processing their applications. Less than a week after the policy went into effect, Tsao says “The response has been powerful.”
ICIRR estimates that about 75,000 people in the state may be eligible for a deferment. “They may also be granted a work permit,” he said. “If you are granted a work permit, you can get a social security number, which means, of course, you can work legally.” In Illinois, it also means you can get a driver's license.
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/thousands-in-illinois-likely-elgible.html