Big day for the country, Hispanics and Latinos.
After a lifetime of fearing deportation, being banned for legal work and fighting to stay in the country they grew up in, thousands and thousands of young undocumented immigrants could get a reprieve today as the federal government begins accepting applications for deferred action permits.
Immigrants who are under the age of 31 and were brought into the country before their 16th birthdays are eligible for the permits, which will allow them to stay in the country legally for two years. According to the Migration Policy Institute, up to 1.76 million could be eligible.
“I have been waiting for this day and will be in line early,” Jose Cabrera, a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, told ABC’s Gina Sunseri in Houston. “I hope this means someday I can be a real citizen.”
In order to receive the deferred action permit, immigrants have to either be currently enrolled in school or have a high school diploma or GED. Honorably discharged veterans are also eligible to apply. Felons and people with more than three misdemeanors will not be given permits, according to the policy.