Posted: Sep 20, 2012 5:42 PM by Nikki Ibarra
Updated: Sep 20, 2012 9:23 PM
Illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, and hope to stay and work in this country, are one step closer to getting a work permit.
The Department of Homeland Security started accepting applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program last month.
The program will also protect eligible illegal immigrants from deportation for 2 years.
There are certain qualifications including, coming to the U.S. before the age of 16 and being under the age of 31 as of June 15 of this year.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, about 72,000 people have applied for this program nationally.
KSBY visited a local immigration agency and they've submitted over 100 applications.
After months of saving up, Leydi Morales is finally submitting her application. "It's so much to deal with," said Leydi of Santa Maria.
The application will cost her $465. That's on top of the $350 she has to pay Servicio de Inmigracion for helping her with the application.
But for Leydi, it's worth it.
"I was always afraid, you know, they would find out or I would get fired because I had to work," added Leydi.
Leydi has had trouble finding a job because she doesn't have a work permit.
"There's much, I haven't gone to school because of the fact that I don't drive and I have to depend on people to take me places," said Leydi.
With this program, if she is approved, Leydi will also be able to get her drivers license. "There is a lot of people that, they've been here since kids, babies. And they only know the United States," said Juan Marquez of Servicio de Inmigracion.
If Leydi qualifies, the next step is to head to Oxnard to get finger printed. But she'll have to find a ride.
"I want to be able to go to school without having to ask people for rides, or go to work without having to depend on my husband," said Leydi.
After the fingerprints, if Leydi and others who applied, qualify, they'll get their work permits in about 90 days.
There is no deadline to apply for the immigration program.
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