Long lines form around country for DACA applicants
Luza Martinez of Las Vegas is one of the people seeking more information on the new program that will help children of illegal immigrants stay in the country. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Lines formed yesterday at immigration offices on the first day that applications were accepted for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Wednesday was a big day for many young undocumented immigrants.
The federal government is now accepting applications for the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA.
The program was created in June under an executive order signed by President Barack Obama.
In Chicago, the city set up an area at Navy Pier where people could get the necessary paperwork.
The program will allow some young illegal immigrants to remain in the country and work without being deported for at least two years.
Only applicants who have not committed major crimes can apply without fear of deportation. The $465 application fee is expected to pay for administrative costs.
Las Vegas immigration attorneys say they have been swamped with calls and visits from people wanting to know more about DACA.
Luza Martinez of Las Vegas was one of those. She was born in Mexico but she doesn't remember much about her life before moving to the United States.
As she told an immigration attorney Wednesday, it was only when she was older that she realized that she was in the country illegally and that it limited her opportunities.
Local immigration attorneys say they have seen thousands of cases like Martinez's over the years. In some of those cases, the young people have been deported even.
Immigration attorneys say that although this is just a temporary measure, it will help young people who did not break the law themselves.
DACA is not a path to citizenship. However, it will allow immigrants to get a work permit without the worry of deportation.
Martinez says that she hopes that politicians will continue to think about people like her when they debate the issue in the future.