The United States is starting this week to take applications from young illegal immigrants who want to stay in the country for the next two years to work and go to school without the threat of deportation.
President Barack Obama eased the country’s immigration laws two months ago.
Beginning Wednesday, 800,000 or more young people brought to the country illegally by their parents will be eligible for the reprieve if they meet certain standards, such as graduating from high school or serving in the U.S. military.
Obama blocked the deportations after the U.S. Congress failed to adopt comprehensive immigration reforms. He said it was the right thing to do to give relief and hope to young people, many of whom have spent almost their entire lives in the U.S. and have little connection to other countries.
Illegal immigration is a controversial issue in the U.S. Some reports say illegal aliens take jobs that American workers could fill and that governments are forced to spend money on social programs to assist the illegal immigrants that otherwise could be used to help American citizens.