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Area immigrants staying legally now

Even though hundreds of thousands of immigrants have been deported during the time President Obama has been in office, many in the area are receiving approval to stay in the US legally.

Local attorneys say they've been swamped at the office. Dozens of area undocumented immigrants have received approval to work or study in the panhandle for two years through the deferred action program, and hundreds more are in line.

This program refers to immigrants from all countries who were brought to the country before they turned 16, have already received a G.E.D. or are currently studying. If you've been convicted of a felony, you do not qualify.

20 year old Brenda Tabarez who graduated from Hereford High School just went in for a consultation today. Tabarez says, "It means a lot because my parents have gone through a lot of stuff. Because to get me and my brothers not to struggle a lot like they have been struggling so we can be somebody. And now with this opportunity that's going to come true, a dream come true." The process is being completed in as quickly as 50 days.

Whittenburg Law Firm's Immigration Lawyer Pace Rawlins says, "There's going to be a lot of people that are going to be getting their papers, which is good. And that means, they're legal. That means they don't have to live in fear. It means they're more productive members of society. It also means hopefully that police officers, in certain places police officers, they arrest people for not having papers when they shouldn't. They can stop them for other things which is fine. Maybe they can start focusing on some of the other stuff. "

Local attorneys say more than 400 cases are pending, about 100 of which are in the second to last stage before getting approved. Around 60 immigrants have already been granted permission to stay in the panhandle.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10.

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