LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A day after President Barack Obama announced his executive action on immigration, dozens packed a conference room inside Los Angeles City Hall.
It was there that supporters of the executive order witnessed a historic moment Friday as Obama spoke of the plan that will allow as many as 5 million people living in the country without legal permission to reside in the U.S. without fear of deportation.
But now that Obama’s enforcement order is known, a question emerges: what’s next?
At the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, immigrants were advised to come out of the shadows.
“We definitely want to encourage undocumented Americans to come forward and to come to a free legal clinic, come to a trusted community organization, and talk to an attorney to see if they might qualify for this program,” Shiu-Ming Cheer of the National Immigration Law Center said.
Immigrants were being told to first determine if they qualify under the new immigration enforcement policies; then gather documents to verify their eligibility; and expect applications to be available within three to six months.
Also, immigrants were urged to not be fooled by false promises from those offering to file applications immediately.
“Don’t believe anybody who tells you they can sign you up right now for a program or anybody who tells you, ‘If you pay them right now, you can qualify’,” Cheer said.
The plan, announced Thursday, will offer work authorization for millions of undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents so long as they’ve lived in the U.S. for five years or more.