Illegal Immigrants Already Receiving Work Permits Under Obama’s Deferred Action Plan

(Courtesy of j. valas images / flickr)

The plan is in action!

Undocumented immigrants wishing to stay in the country have already started to receive work permits, saving them from possible deportation for up to 2 years under the Obama administration’s recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. About 72,000 applications have been submitted since the official kickoff of the program on August 15. This comes as a surprise, since the Department of Homeland Security estimated that applications would not be processed for about 4 to 6 months. California has the most applications submitted so far, and the largest number of applicants were born in Mexico. In order for an applicant to be approved, they must pay a fee of $465 and complete a background check. Applicants must also fit into these categories:

-Came to the U. S. when they were under the age of 16

-Are 31 or younger

-Are high school graduates or are in college or have served in the military

-No serious criminal record

This program seems to have been established at an extremely convenient time for the president. Many consider the Hispanic vote crucial for president Obama to be elected for a second term.

On the other side, Mitt Romney has stated that he would veto the DREAM Act if elected to office, which was developed to allow undocumented immigrants of “good moral character” to gain conditional permanent residency. This program is similar to the DREAM Act, but it differs because the new policy does not give undocumented immigrants a long-term legal status in this country.

During the Democratic National Convention, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals plan was repeatedly mentioned as a significant part of President Obama’s reelection campaign. Republicans in Congress have openly rejected this program based on the claim that it is conflicting with current immigration enforcement. However, some believe that the program is not doing enough for undocumented immigrants, despite Republican opposition. What do you think?  Is Obama’s plan drastic enough to make a significant change? Or is it just another tiny step to appease both Democrats and Republicans?

One response to “Illegal Immigrants Already Receiving Work Permits Under Obama’s Deferred Action Plan

  1. It is very interesting that after almost 4 years in office, Obama has finally set up a program that will help undocumented immigrants have a work permit. Even though it is not what many immigrants wanted, it is a great start. All though there are many requirements and it is very expensive, it is an opportunity that immigrants cannot let pass. People see the “Deferred Action Plan” as doing nothing for the immigrants, but only as a way for Obama to get votes from the Hispanic community. Obama took a long time to do what he promised for immigrants, but the fact that he got it done before his term is over is great. The “Deferred Action Plan” has the potential to make a drastic change if millions of the applicants are approved. I am not surprised that many immigrants have submitted their applications because they have been waiting for this moment, ever since the” Dream Act” was not passed by Congress. Obama hasn’t really done much for the immigrant population, but I believe this is a start and will help millions of immigrants keep studying and working legally in the United States. I hope this program takes off without any more complications and create a long lasting effect on the nation when it comes to immigration. I hope the program is modified, so immigrants are allowed to have the working permit for more than 2 years because then this will reassure the immigrants that they have the opportunity to become permanent residents. I feel that immigrants should not expect much or get their hopes up because we are in an election year, where the winner is not yet decided.

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