Undocumented immigrants can start putting in applications for deferred action to prevent them falling victim to deportation and to gain legal work permits from February, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez. His comments were made during a conference call with Spanish-speaking reporters.
Those putting in applications for the expanded DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – can do so from February, while the parents of legal residents and those with US citizenship will have to wait until May. NBCNews.com bilingual senior writer Suzanne Gamboa says that while those who are opposed to the President’s plans are still trying to come up with ways to block his actions, the administration’s chief domestic policy adviser, Cecilia Munoz, told reporters that everything Obama is doing is legal and will go forward.
White House officials have also made clear a number of key points regarding Obama’s actions, indicating that nothing is yet in place and potential candidates should therefore be wary of anyone claiming to be offering assistance. People not already living in the United States are not eligible and recent undocumented arrivals will still be seen as high priorities for deportation.
Eligible candidates must have resided in the United States continuously since January 1st 2010. Officials have pointed out that most of the immigrants who will be eligible for relief from the threat of deportation would not have been high priorities anyway due to their lack of a criminal record.