Millions set to apply for immigration protection in US

US flagUndocumented immigrants seeking protection from the threat of deportation from the United States are expected to file their applications for the new deferred action program developed by President Obama in his latest executive action by the millions next week.

Despite the objections of Republicans in Congress, the deferred action program will be expanded from next week for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States when they were children. Undocumented immigrants whose children already hold US citizenship will be included in a new program set to kick off in three months time in May. The Los Angeles Times has acquired a copy of the draft letter by Jeh Johnson, the Department of Homeland Security secretary, which states that the president’s plans will cost between $324m and $484m over the course of the next three years.

Concerns have been raised that the US immigration system is set to be placed under considerable strain by an influx of millions of applications. US Citizenship and Immigration Services predicts that the first six months alone will see around 1.3 million applications filed, with the agency already dealing with around 6.3 million applications per annum.

Filing an application for the new deferred action costs $465. There is as yet no clarification from the Department of Homeland Security with regard to whether undocumented adults will be permitted to return home under the program, which is something that is of particular interest to Irish undocumented immigrants.