Posted at: 11/13/2012 10:24 AM
By: Diana Guevara
President Obama may only be at the start of his second term, but his re-election is bringing a huge relief to thousands of undocumented immigrants, including the Lopez brothers of San Diego.
"I thought if Romney got elected he was going to get rid of deferred action," says Miguel Lopez, an undocumented college student.
The 18-year-old and his 17-year old brother Angelo have both qualified for the Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The two brothers were brought to the U.S. illegally from Mexico when they were toddlers.
Now only three months after the Obama Administration implemented the DACA program, they have not only received permits granting them legal status for two years, but are on their way to apply for Social Security cards.
"At least they'll have a sense of security so they can say I can go about my life now and get a job legally, " said Chris Macaraeg, attorney for the teenagers.
Macaraeg says with Obama's re-election we could see a surge of new DACA applicants. But longtime Republican Raoul Lowery-Contreras believes the DACA program is a big bait and switch.
"This administration has deported more Mexicans than any administration in history and now they're asking young kids, basically, to come here with your name, address and phone number," said Lowery-Contreras, a member of the Café Con Leche Republicans.
While many hope Obama will concentrate on comprehensive immigration reform, the Lopez's are looking forward to their future. "I'm just happy that I got this, "said Lopez.
"From having nothing…then to get this, it's a big thing."
Nearly 5,000 undocumented immigrants have been granted temporary permission to live and work in the U.S. An estimated 1.7 million undocumented immigrants could be eligible for the program.