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What Immigrants Need To Do Next

Leaders of groups focused on helping Latino immigrants say they have advised clients to expect a wait of perhaps several months before the application process is ready.

It will be a while before the new program is implemented, and of course people like Lindsey Graham will do everything in their power to defund and otherwise obstruct it. But for many people across America, this is a major burden lifted:

LOS ANGELES -- Immigrants who may qualify for protection from deportation under the president's executive orders should immediately begin gathering documents, from birth certificates to utility bills, that will help them prove eligibility, advocacy groups are advising.

"We do expect millions of people will benefit and millions of lives will change in a very profound and positive way,'' Arnulfo De La Cruz, director of Mi Familia Vota California, a non-profit advocacy group, says of President Obama's announcement Thursday.

He and leaders of other groups focused on helping Latino immigrants say they have advised clients to expect a wait of perhaps several months before the U.S. government has its application process ready.

That was the case in 2012, when the government instituted the deferred deportation program for young undocumented immigrants known as Deferred Action for Childhood.

They also are advising immigrants to be aware of the program's limitations -- that it is not a path to citizenship. And, they urge immigrants not to be fooled by profiteers who prey on vulnerable immigrants with false promises of citizenship or protection in exchange for cash.

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