New Policy to Let Some Law-abiding, Young Illegal Immigrants Obtain Work Permits

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Getting a job in the United States just became easier for young illegal immigrants. President Obama has announced a new order allowing hundreds of thousands who do not have citizenship to stay in the country and work, helping families avoid having their loved ones deported.

"It's such a family issue, especially in the Hispanic community. We are so down to earth with our family members and that's why we hope it doesn't stop here”, says Mary Lou Castro with L.U.L.A.C.

In order to be eligible for the program, immigrants must meet a list of requirements: they must be younger than 30, have been brought to the United States before their 16th birthday, lived in the U.S. for five consecutive years, have no criminal history and graduated high school or earned their GED. Approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants could meet that list.

There are plenty of critics of the president's new plans for immigration, perhaps the most outspoken is Arizona governor Jan Brewer.

"I do not believe, I don't think the American people believe, and the majority certainly doesn't believe that backdoor amnesty is the way to go”, says Brewer.

The policy is seen as a short-term answer due to illegal immigrants having to ask for eligibility every two years, meaning a long-term fix would have to come from Congress.

"They don't seem to have the support primarily from Republicans in Congress to pass immigration reform. I think this will put a lot of pressure on Congress to act because it's not a change in the law”, says attorney Sara Dady.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As many as 800-thousand immigrants who have feared deportation are feeling a bit of relief tonight.

The Obama Administration is allowing them to stay in the U.S.

A new law will allow younger, illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children to stay in the country.

They'll also be given work permits if they came to the u-s before they turned 16 and are younger than 30. They must have also been in the country for at least five consecutive years, have no criminal history, and graduated from a U.S. High School, earned a GED or served in the military.

Freeport Resident Gene Evans said, "I think it's a good thing to give them a work permit to help us out. If they get a work permit they should be paying taxes. They should start paying taxes if they get a job because the rest of us have to pay taxes."

The new law takes effect immediately.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of a growing Latino electorate that has opposed administration deportation policies.

The administration's decision will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants. Two senior administration officials described the plan on condition of anonymity ahead of its expected announcement Friday.

Illegal immigrants will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.

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