Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children will be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation and able to work, under an executive action the Obama administration announced on Friday, reported The New York Times. Administration officials said the president used existing legal authority to make the broad policy change, which could temporarily benefit more than 800,000 young people. The policy, while not granting any permanent legal status, clears the way for young illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows, work legally and obtain driver’s licenses and many other documents they have lacked.
Under the change, the Department of Homeland Security will no longer initiate the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States before age 16, have lived here for at least five years, and are in school, are high school graduates or are military veterans in good standing. The immigrants must also be under 30 and have clean criminal records.
For immigrants who come forward and qualify, Homeland Security authorities will use prosecutorial discretion to grant deferred action, a reprieve that will be valid for two years and will have to be renewed. Under current law, that status allows immigrants to apply for work permits.
Homeland Security officials said they would begin accepting requests from immigrant students in 60 days, leaving time to prepare procedures to handle the huge response they expect.
—From The New York Times (Click here to read the full article.)