Los Angeles mayor’s office to hold immigration application workshops

Immigration reform activists and supporters across the nation are still celebrating Obama’s historic executive decision to protect some 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. But those interested in taking advantage the president’s decision are concerned about the application process, asking questions such as, “What will it require?” and “How long will it take?”

To provide these people with the help they need, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will begin holding workshops throughout the next six months, according to MyNewsLA.com. The mayor’s office will coordinate these workshops to help Los Angeles residents living in the country without documentation apply for a federal program that allows them to live and work in the country for three years.

As Linda Lopez, chief of Immigrant Affairs, told the City Council, these workshops are being developed to ensure all residents have a fair shot at utilizing the executive directives the president announced in late November 2014.

“The mayor’s goal … is to ensure that we enroll all eligible populations in the key programs that have been announced by the president, and to be successful in this effort to support our undocumented population here in the City of Angels,” Lopez stated.

Who is eligible?
The workshops will provide application assistance to undocumented immigrants who came to the country Jan. 1, 2010, per the restrictions outlined by the president’s executive decision. In Los Angeles, about 155,000 people may qualify for the program. Additionally, an estimated 66,000 residents could qualify for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was also extended with Obama’s executive decision.

What will the workshops consist of?
The federal government will develop an official application process expected to be introduced to the public in the next six months. However, in the meantime, these workshops will provide applicants with general information about gathering documentation. This includes proper ways to prove their identity to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, as well as demonstrating one’s relationship to someone with American Citizenship.

The first workshop was held Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, and the turnout was overwhelming. According to the Boston Globe, thousands gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center to receive advice about the application process. Future workshops will be held in various locations across the country, including schools, community centers and churches.