New Obama immigration policy criticized by local groups
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The president's announcement to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation is now facing criticism from our local Latino community.
Many worry the Deferred Action Process could work against the very people it was put in place to help.
Under the new policy those who were brought to the United States illegally as young children will no longer be deported, if they meet certain criteria.
But after a closer look, local Latino groups say its really not as simple as it sounds.
"The way the policy is written right now, they are putting their parents and themselves at risk," said Carlo Maffatt of Hispanics United.
Local groups worry undocumented immigrants will walk into their local immigration offices and, in order to qualify, will have to offer up the names and addresses of their parents who are illegal and subject them to deportation, or themselves.
Under the new policy, there is no appeal process if you are rejected.
"Why in the world would I want to expose my children to the possibility of deportation, because there is this tremendous distrust that's out there," said Nelson Santiago of Nevada Hispanics.
"ICE needs to clarify the policy DHS needs to clarify the policy and the President needs to clarify the policy," he said.
The announcement of the policy change was made nearly two weeks ago by the President and was followed by high praise from media and immigration groups.
But many remain cautiously optimistic about implementation, saying it was a step in the right direction but was not properly thought through.
"I believe that the President did the right thing, the wrong way, and for the wrong reasons, and it was a rushed decision," said Maffatt.
The Department of Homeland Security has not responded to our calls for comment or explanation of how the new policy will be implemented.
In the coming weeks, USCIS will outline and announce the procedures by which individuals can engage in this process.
This process is not yet in effect and requests should not be submitted at this time.
Beginning June 18, individuals may call the USCIS hotline at 1-800-375-5283, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with questions or to request more information on the new process.
The hotline offers assistance in English and Spanish. Individuals seeking more information on the new process should visit USCIS's website.