Legal Immigrants: Back of the Line

Applicants who call the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services hear a message aimed at illegal immigrants first. Legal immigrants--or U.S. citizens assisting others--must wait through that message before hearing options relevant to their applications.

After choosing their preferred language, callers hear the following:

"If you came to the United States as a child, and you are seeking information regarding the new process for deferred action, please press zero. For information about the new process to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, please press six."

The message is aimed at illegal immigrants who benefit from President Barack Obama's new "Dreamers" policy, which extends prosecutorial discretion to stop the deportation of those brought to the U.S. as children and who meet other criteria. The policy was announced in June 2012, in the midst of the presidential election.

Although the delay on the telephone for those applying legally is short--about twenty seconds--the message is clear: illegal immigrants covered under President Obama's new policy are the government's urgent priority.


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