New immigration program has benefits and risks - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New immigration program has benefits and risks

Amarillo, TX - There's a new program that can provide assistance to thousands of illegal immigrants in the panhandle but it could also do some harm.

Starting next week illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and are under the age of 31 could apply for the deferred action program.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is offering the program to release illegal immigrants from deportation proceedings and allow them to apply for work permits.

Some area attorneys and the Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are already receiving an abundance of calls on how to apply but they want to make sure people are well informed.

If not, they could end up placing themselves at risk of being an immigration-enforcement priority.

"You have to provide all your information, your name, your address and so if you don't get deferred action then you've just told them who you are and that you're here illegally. they might come pick you up. probably the government won't do that but you can't always trust the government," says George Whittenburg, Whittenburg Law Firm.

Applicants are also required to list family members on the application, possibly putting those relatives at risk for deportation.

The Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says those who qualify for deferred action are given the chance to become productive members in our community and help our economy.

For more on the requirements for the program go to

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