CHICAGO, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Some 1.7 million young illegal immigrants sought information on a deportation deferral program that would grant them two-year work permits, U.S. officials said.
The program -- initiated June 15 by President Barack Obama after the Dream Act legislation stalled in Congress -- would allow illegal immigrants less than 31 years of age who have lived in the country since they were children to defer deportation for two years, The New York Times reported. The referral does not provide any legal immigration status, but grants them the ability to work legally.
Information sessions on the program Wednesday drew throngs of people in cities across the country. Navy Pier in Chicago saw some 11,500 people line up as early as Tuesday night, the Times reported. More than 2,000 of them were turned away because the dozens of lawyers and volunteers explaining the program and required documentation to apply didn't have time to reach them all.
Maricopa County Community Colleges in Arizona said those granted the deferral would be eligible for in-state tuition because a work permit is acceptable documentation to prove in-state residency, The Arizona Republic reported. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, though, issued an executive order Wednesday telling state agencies not to issue driver's licenses and other public benefits to all undocumented immigrants, even those granted deportation deferral, the newspaper reported.
The school said it would review its decision to grant in-state tuition because of Brewer's order.