Houston immigrants curious about Obama’s immigration order

Houston immigrants curious about Obama’s immigration order

Houston law firms and immigrant advocacy organizations saw a quick increase in queries and emails from thousands of immigrants after the announcement of President Barack Obama's historic order that is expected shield more than five million undocumented immigrants across the nation from deportation.

The long-awaited immigration reform also triggered meetings and workshops by immigrant and immigrant advocacy groups throughout the city.

Many immigrants spent Friday on gathering basic information the immigrant overhaul and learn who qualified for the new plan and how much it would cost. Some attorneys predicted that the application fee for the various programs would be $465, the same amount charged for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that deferred deportations of children brought to the U. S. illegally by their parents. DACA was announced by President Obama in 2012.

Cesar Espinosa, the director of immigrant advocacy group FIEL, said that the rush of queries was so big that the group's Houston officers could not initially answer all the calls.

Speaking on the topic, Espinosa said, "A lot of people are desperately looking for information, and there's a lot of confusion about who is qualified and who isn't. Unfortunately, that's something you have to sit down and talk with them about - you can't answer that on the phone."

In the City Hall, Mayor Annise Parker quickly announced that city departments would work with immigration activists to solve their queries and help them navigate through the immigrant overhaul.

According to Obama's immigrant overhaul, those undocumented immigrants who have been living in the U. S. for more than a decade or have U. S.-born children will not be deported. In addition, they will be allowed to work legally and get social security cards.