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Friday, April 4th, 2014

Thousands of Immigrants Line Up to Apply for ‘Dream Act’ Protected Status

If the turnout at yesterday’s Dream Relief Day workshops around the country were any indication, President Obama’s plan to give undocumented immigrants the chance to get a two-year reprieve from deportation is a huge hit.

By the thousands, people flocked to locations in places like Chicago and Los Angeles to fill out paperwork to begin the process of applying for legal protection to stay in the U.S. for two more years. The organizers of the events weren’t even prepared for the size of the crowds.

While critics of the president’s plan will paint it as back-door amnesty or a cynical political ploy to solidify Latino votes, the people who showed up for the workshops clearly saw it as something else: a lifesaver. And the numbers once again demonstrated that though the nation has been experiencing some hard time of late, there are still many people who are drawn by the opportunities and the hope of America.

The workshops featured attorneys and immigration experts advising people on how to fill out the applications for the protected status.

One of the largest events took place in Chicago at the Navy Pier, where thousands lined up for the workshops.

“I’ve been here since 7 a.m.,” Daniel Villa, 18, told the Chicago Tribune. “I’ll wait six hours if I have to. I’m not going anywhere; I’ve waited too long for this.” Villa said he wants to use the federal work authorization to become a nurse.

An estimated 1.2 million people around the country are eligible for the program. About 13,000 of them came to the event in Chicago—about double the number the organizers were able to accommodate, to the extreme disappointment of the people who were turned away.

“This is what history looks like!” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told the cheering crowd. Durbin was one of several politicians who attended.

“The people who say undocumented immigrants don’t really want to be part of this country will have to rethink that when they see hundreds of thousands or maybe a million young people come forward to sign-up in the coming weeks and months,” said a statement by Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Chairman of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “This is going to help break through the political obstacles blocking broader, permanent immigration reform because this demonstrates that when people are given a chance to get in the system and on the books, they will take it.  We need to find a way for the parents and neighbors of these young people to come forward too and to establish a legal immigration system that will restore dignity, legality, and humanity to our immigration system.”

The official name of President Obama’s initiative is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but the president calls it a “stopgap measure” since Congress failed to pass the DREAM Act legislation that would provide conditional legal status to students and U.S. military personnel.

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About Nick Chiles

Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 12 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine.

Comments

  1. Nothing—nothing will ever CHANGE in Congress, if Americans just keep voting in the same old incumbents of the Democratic or Republican parties. Change will only come through the intervention of the TEA PARTY that is gaining momentum through the GOP. Everything will remain ‘Quid Pro Quo’ (you scratch my back, and then I will scratch yours?) Entrenched politicians are happy to keep collecting taxpayer’s money and go on trillion dollar spending spree. It’s no wonder China and other unfriendly countries own our grand children’s futures? DREAMER’S ARE HERE TO STAY, BUT THEY COMPROMISE THEIR PARENTS STATUS? THEY ARE NOT PROTECTED. 14 million of the population is jobless, given-up or just in temporary employment and Obama passes a backdoor amnesty. Everything from another illegal alien amnesty, more Sanctuary cities, the passage of E-Verify; stricter birthright citizenship; energy, bloated government, taxes, state insolvency, new infrastructure, voter fraud, and many other issues will be ignored or remain frozen. Want new policies enacted that have been sitting around for ages, according to the U.S. constitution and the ‘People’s rights of liberty, then vote stricter TEA PARTY LEADERS INTO WASHINGTON. Investigate more at tea party dot org, immigration at numbersusa, corruption at judicialwatch dot org.

  2. does any one know where I need to go to apply for my dream act aplication.

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