KEYE-TV - Search Results
Deferred Action Helping Austin Man
Nearly half a million undocumented individuals have been approved for deferred action status, and Texas is among the states with the highest number of applicants.
Angel Silva, 26, is among the hundreds of thousands who have just been approved and can now work in the United States legally. At six years old Angel moved with his family from Juarez, Mexico to Austin.
When he was 15 he tried to get a job and realized he couldn't legally work in the United States. He eventually started working in the restaurant business, now he's a cook.
He says, "It's one of the easiest jobs to get when you're in my position, cooks or landscaping and I haven't explored anything else, I didn't think I could, I didn't think I could, I didn't think I was allowed to, I felt like I didn't I had a choice but to do this."
He says now his life is taking a dramatic turn. Two months ago he applied for deferred action and now he has his employment authorization card, can apply for a social security card and driver's license.
"It's as important as breathing right now, it was nerve wracking because it felt a lot longer than it actually was," says Silva.
Immigration attorney Paul Parsons says, "In the beginning they were able to process these forms in only about two months, more recently they've had so many cases they've back logged and a typical case is taking six months."
It's a process that takes both time and money. Applicants must pay a fee of $465 and submit paperwork and fill out applications forms.
Perhaps the most important part of the application is showing proof that an applicant has been in the United States prior to the age of 16. Silva even had to include class photos proving he had been in school.
He says the entire process may seem long but it's worth the wait. "Now I think the sky is the limit. I can do whatever I want and as long as I do what I've been doing the last 26 years and stay out of trouble -- it's exciting."
By Lydia Pantazes