New national immigration policy takes effect - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New national immigration policy takes effect

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a new immigration law set to go in effect Wednesday, will give some illegal immigrants a 2-year work visa. 

The Department of Homeland Security said many as 1.7 million illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children may be eligible for the new program.

President Barack Obama bypassed Congress, using his Executive order to implement Deferred Action.

The new law does not grant an immigrant citizenship.  It provides a temporary 2-year work visa for undocumented workers who are under 30 years old and who came to the U.S. before they were 16 years old.  They must either be high school graduate or have served in the United States military.

Assistant Professor of History at Texas Tech University Miguel Levario said the move should entice more Latinos to vote for Obama.

"We saw almost immediately after the President made the announcement, his poll numbers among Latinos did shoot up, so we saw a positive return in that regard," said Levario. 

However, KCBD NewsChannel 11 spoke with many students on campus who strongly disagreed. 

Some students accused Obama of "abusing" his power for votes. The Dream Act was struck down by Congress in 2010. Obama avoided that conflict altogether this time around through the utilization of this Executive power.

Other student we spoke to said the new law was too vague to make any significant impact; however, others embraced the idea and said the grace period was long overdue.

Immigrants interested in the program will have to pay a $465 fee and submit proof of their eligibility. Proof can include school transcripts, medical and financial records as well as military service records.

Applications can be downloaded on the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services website

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