Specific requirements for President Obama's deferred action plan, which would prevent young, undocumented immigrants from being deported, were released this week.
The Latin American Association of Atlanta put together an informational session on Saturday to help undocumented immigrants in the area navigate the complex new policy.
Jeffrey Tapia helped organize the event, which nearly 1,000 people showed up to, packing the organization's entire building.
"Many of them have grown up here in the United States and really don't remember living anywhere else," Tapia said. "There are thousands and thousands of young people in this situation, this is a very important opportunity for them."
One of the people who came to find out more about the new immigration policy was Maria Hernandez, who was brought to the U.S. when she was a young child. Her father was deported back to Mexico when she was 15 years old.
"I was the older one so I had to support my family," she said. "So I didn't have time to finish school."
The fact that she didn't graduate from high school or get a GED will present a problem in her quest to seek deferred action, but she is seeking the Latin American Association's help because she wants to stay in the U.S. to be with her daughter who is 5 years old.
"She's here, she already started kindergarten, she knows this language," Hernandez said. "It's for her that I'm doing this."
The following are requirements that need to be met to qualify for the deferred action plan, which would prevent deportation and allow undocumented immigrants to work legally:
You must be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012
You must have arrived in the United States before the age of 16
If not in removal proceedings, you must be at least 15 years old in order to apply
You must have lived in the U.S. continuously for five consecutive years as of the date of the June 15, 2012 memo
You must have been present in the United States on June 15, 2012
You must not have been convicted of a felony offense, a "significant" misdemeanor offense, or three or more misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same day and not arising out of the same act, omission or scheme of misconduct.
You must not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety
You must currently be in school or have graduated from high school or have obtained a general education development certificate (GED), or be honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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