Hundreds of illegal immigrants under the age of 31 in Georgia, including Mableton and Austell, are gathering any visas, passports or other identification they have because the Department of Homeland Security is now accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a type of work permit which would prevent them from being deported.
, and it could potentially help an estimated 1 million undocumented young people who would have been eligible for the failed Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, according to Huffington Post.
Approval for the permit does not provide any type of legal status or a path to citizenship, said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas.
Homeland Security announced Tuesday the specific documents illegal immigrants must present to apply for DACA. In addition to paying a $465 fee, undocumented immigrants must provide a passport or birth certificate, school transcripts, medical and financial records and military records.
However, some critics are concerned about possible fraudulent applications and documents from illegal immigrants.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, called the policy backdoor amnesty on Tuesday.
Other Republicans accuse Obama of bypassing Congress to improve his standing politically, just months before Election Day. Others say the program shows favor to undocumented immigrants over unemployed American citizens.
The program is an effort for Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to focus deportation efforts on criminals and other harmful illegal immigrants.
To be eligible for the special work permit, undocumented immigrants must show that they:
- Arrived in the U.S. before they were 16
- Are now under the age of 30
- Have lived in the U.S. for at least five years,
- Are in high school, have graduated from high school or is in the military
- Have not been convicted of specific crimes or pose a safety threat.
could not qualify for this program because he did not arrive in the U.S. until the age of 16.
The Associated Press obtained an internal document outlining the execution of the program. The shows that officials estimated about 1.04 million people would apply for DACA in the first year, and that about 890,000 would be eligible.
The document also showed estimates that the program would cost $468 million to $585 milion, bringing in about $484 million in fees.
Each case is likely to take months to review.
“All we want to do is have a better life and just be better,” said Cruz, who is applying for a work permit.