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Program to aid undocumented workers begins across nation

Reported by: Sergio Avila
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Updated: 8/15/2012 7:17 pm
Thousands of young immigrants lined up in cities like Chicago and Houston today hoping to take advantage of a new rule and avoid deportation. Today was the first day to apply for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program -- which allows people who arrived in the u-s before age 16 to avoid deportation for at least two years. The Mexican consulate in Las Vegas tells us they've seen twice as many people today and expect the number to keep growing. As News 3's Sergio Avila shows us for many of these young migrants, the United States is their home.

By Julia Bagg

NBC News

MIAMI -- Starting today, young, undocumented immigrants are able to apply for temporary legal status under the "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" plan announced by President Barack Obama in June.

In a major policy announcement, Obama said he would halt the deportation of undocumented youth and allow those younger than 31 that arrived in the country before they were 16 to apply for a two-year work permit.

To be eligible, the youth must be in the country for at least five consecutive years; have no criminal history; graduated from high school, have a GED or served in the military.

Cheryl Little, executive director at Americans for Immigrant Justice, recommended having an attorney look over the application before it's submitted.

"It's important to get the application right the first time," Little said in a release. "Mistakes or misunderstandings could lead to denial of deferred action and losing the $465 fee or worse - deportation."
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