- CNTV English - CCTV News

U.S. begins relief program for illegal childhood arrivals

08-16-2012 06:11 BJT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S. authorities on Wednesday began accepting applications for people who entered the United States as children illegally, embarking on one of the most sweeping changes in immigration policy in decades that would allow those qualified to remain in and work in the country without fear of deportation for at least two years.

The applications for deferred action for childhood arrivals were to be handled by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS). It was in line with a June 15 announcement by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. At the time, it was estimated the measure would affect as many as 800,000 people, but a new estimate by Pew Hispanic Center on Tuesday said the policy would have impact on up to 1.7 million youths.

"USCIS has developed a rigorous review process for deferred action requests under guidelines issued by Secretary Napolitano," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "Childhood arrivals who meet the guidelines and whose cases are deferred will now be able to live without fear of removal."

The program is open to immigrants aged 15 to 31 who came to the country before they were 16 and have lived in the country continuously for at least the past five years. Among other restrictions, they must not have been convicted of serious crimes, be enrolled in or have completed high school, or have served in the U.S. military.

On Tuesday, officials confirmed that those enrolled in General Educational Development (GED) programs and certain training programs will also qualify.

The policy shift breaks years of Congressional stalemate on immigration reform, and commentators have said it could significantly boost Hispanic support for President Barack Obama in a tight election campaign. Hispanics make up the vast majority of the undocumented population in the United States.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

Hot Videos view more

The celebrations are still continuing as the victorious coach, Joachim Loew, has been honored for his achievement in his hometown of Freiburg.
Germany coach Loew honored in hometown of Freiburg

Chinese men´s national team continued its preparations for next year´s Asian Cup, as they managed a one-all draw against visitors Jordan during a football friendly in Harbin, the capital city of Northeast China´s Heilongjiang Province.
China held to 1-1 draw by Jordan

The defending world champs came into the contest with a perfect 6-and-oh record, but they would be in for a tough first half before opening things up in the second.
USA beat Slovenia 119-76 in quarter-finals

Hot Stories more

UK authorities believe killer of James Foley is a British national

Across the UK the hunt is on for James Foley’s killer, who authorities believe is a British national. As Richard Bestic reports from London, Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his summer break to lead his government’s response.

Israeli war jets renews Gaza strike as truce talks stalled

Three Palestinians were killed and 40 others wounded in the intensive Israeli war jets´ airstrikes on the Gaza city on Tuesday night, shortly before an end of a 24-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip,

Missouri police arrest dozens after violent night

As the protests in the town of Ferguson, Missouri turned violent with police facing ´heavy gunfire´ from some ´criminal elements´, cops fired tear gas, stun grenades and arrested 31 demonstrators on Monday night.

Picture in news more

More Video News

Choose TV Program