Starting Wednesday, under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, illegal immigrants who came as children can seek to stay legally under the Obama initiative.
Immigration authorities are bracing for a deluge of applications starting Wednesday when more than 1.2 million young illegal immigrants who were brought to America as children can seek to legally stay and work in the country under President Obama’s most ambitious immigration initiative.
Even before the first request is filed, critics and advocates alike are warning of potential budget shortfalls and a logjam of paperwork that could mar the program, delay processing and facilitate fraud.
Advocacy groups have planned public celebrations, legal aid seminars and other events in major cities to herald a plan that has sparked rejoicing and relief in immigrant communities, and anger among Republicans who view it as a White House ploy for Latino support in an election year and a backdoor amnesty that usurps congressional authority.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which will review the applications, is expecting about 1.2 million applications on top of the 6 million it normally adjudicates for citizenship, residency and work visas every year, officials said. That’s up from 800,000 expected when Obama announced the plan in June.