The administration has announced it will begin taking applications for an expansion of deportation relief for young immigrants in the country illegally.
Applications for expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, are being accepted beginning Feb. 18, Citizenship and Immigration Services stated in a Thursday evening update to its website.
The applications are for immigrants who entered or stayed in the country illegally since before they were 16 and lived in the country since Jan. 1, 2010. Previously DACA was limited to young immigrants illegally in the country since Jan. 1, 2007. Also the immigrants can be of any age for the latest version of DACA, which also provides a thre- year work permit.
Several non-profit groups have been assisting young immigrants with their applications to ensure they are correctly filled out and submitted with proper documentation. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plan a workshop Sunday in Chicago to educate immigrants about the expanded DACA and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. Officials have said they'll begin accepting applications for DAPA in mid-May. Gutiérrez plans other workshops in other parts of the country.
Meanwhile, several states have sued to prevent the executive actions from moving forward and House Speaker John Boehner has said he'll also sue. A bill providing the money to keep the Department of Homeland Security running is hung up over GOP attempts to end the immigration executive actions taken by Obama.
_ Suzanne Gamboa