Undocumented American immigrants under the age of 30 who are enrolled in school or have a diploma can request to work legally and avoid deportation as part of President Obama’s new reform, Time is reporting. After the president announced the program in June, some immigrants are expressing concern, however.
The reform, which goes into effect on Wednesday, will allow immigrants to obtain legal work if they can prove they aren’t criminals, don’t pose a national security threat, have lived in the United States for the past five years, arrived here before they were 16 and were in the country on June 15. The plan, which will benefit an estimated 1.76 million people, is seen by some immigrants as a way for Obama to gain Latino support before the November election, however.
Some immigrants are also weary because potential applicants have yet to be allowed to see the questions they’ll be asked when they apply. Also, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that people who haven’t been convicted of a felony or significant misdemeanor and don’t otherwise pose a threat can apply. But officials haven’t clarified what they mean by significant and threat.
The government is only offering a reprieve from deportation for two years as part of the program. It’s unclear whether Obama will renew the privilege if he’s re-elected. Republican candidate Mitt Romney is believed to not renew the reform, as he’s perceived to be less immigrant-friendly than Obama.
Written by: Karen Benardello