Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer listens to a question from the media in late June in Phoenix about the Supreme Court's decision on SB1070, Arizona's controversial immigration law. After a federal program took effect Aug. 15 offering deferred deportation and work permits to some undocumented young people who came to the United States as children, Brewer issued an executive order blocking participants from getting driver's licenses and other state benefits.
Catholic News Service
Applying for deferred deportation for some young adults under a program to use prosecutorial discretion brought out tens of thousands of applicants to workshops around the country.
In Chicago, an estimated 13,000 people lined up at the Navy Pier to get information and apply for deferred deportation status for 15- to 30-year-olds, the first day applications could be filed under a move announced by President Barack Obama.
Embassies and consulates around the country had long lines of people seeking documents they might need to apply. Church-run service agencies such as Guadalupe Social Services in the Diocese of Venice, Fla., reported steady calls and full schedules of appointments from people seeking help figuring out the program.
The program is open to people who arrived in the United States before age 16, have been here at least five years and were not yet age 31 by June 15, when the program was announced. People younger than 15 who otherwise qualify will be able to apply once they reach age 15, the government announced.
Still evolving is information about how individual states would treat recipients of the status. It’s expected that it will take a couple of months or more before the first approved participants have completed the process and received their documents.
California and Oregon reported that the federal work permit which comes along with the deferred action status would qualify as evidence of lawful status, meaning people with the permits can apply for driver’s licenses.