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Live Blog: Historic Day Unfolds As DREAMers Apply for Relief

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The biggest day for immigration in decades is finally here!

Following President Obama’s June 15, 2012 announcement that DREAM Act-eligible youth would be able to request deferred action and protection from deportation, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services has begun accepting applications from immigrant youth.  Eligible beneficiaries will be given a Social Security number and allowed to work and drive.  Eager applicants have been waiting in some locations since last night.

We’ll be compiling notable blog posts, tweets, and photos throughout the day.  Check back for updates!

1:52 PM: Seattle Times editorial says that “The DREAM Act is the ultimate goal. President Obama’s waiver is an acceptable down payment on the dream.” And, the editorial notes that 30,000 DREAMers in Washington can apply for deferred action.

1:52 PM: Burnt Orange reporting 15,000 DREAMers eligible for relief in El Paso, Texas. Just El Paso!

12:59 PM: Ever wonder what 12,000 DREAMers looks like?  From Chicago, shout out to ICIRR, Sen. Richard Durbin, Rep. Luis Gutierrez. See more photos here and here.chicago-dreamers-300x241

12:25 PM: Received this update from our colleague, Adam Luna, who is at the National Immigration Forum (NIF):

NIF is filled with reporters & cameras. Reporters are even waiting for their turn to get in the room. Help stations with DREAMers applying & getting help from attorneys.

Format is not a press conference, reporters are roaming around, doing interviews with individual spokespeople, etc. Seems very natural & every camera is getting an “exclusive.”

9:55 AM: @AmericasVoice is retweeting some of our favorite tweets:

More tweets from today:

Great blog post from David Dayen at Firedoglake: “Deferred Action Program for DREAM-Eligible Immigrants Begins Today“:

For the moment, however, hopes are running high, and DREAM-eligible immigrants are flocking to service centers for more information. A recent report from the Center on Migration Policy said that 1.76 million immigrants could be eligible for deferred action status. When faced with the alternative of remaining in the shadows, obviously there’s enormous upside to the deferred action program.

And, a press release from USCIS announced the start of the program — and assures applicants that their information will be kept confidential:

Deferred action is a discretionary determination to defer removal action of an individual as an act of prosecutorial discretion. USCIS will review requests and make decisions on a case-by-case basis.  While it does not provide lawful status or a pathway to permanent residence or citizenship, individuals whose cases are deferred as part of this process will not be removed from the United States for a two-year period, subject to renewal, and may also apply for employment authorization.