Illegal youth in Southwest Florida get a chance to work legally
President Obama's special executive order protects them from prosecution
Undocumented immigrants line up to register for Deferred Action Video by fox4now.comvideo
WFTX - Some illegal immigrants in Southwest Florida and across the nation are getting the chance to become U.S. Citizens.
Young illegal immigrants throughout Florida have begun applying for the chance to avoid deportation and earn a work permit.
Advocates and lawyers gathered Wednesday in Miami, Orlando and other cities around the state to help youths who may qualify.
The new policy was announced by President Barack Obama in June. It allows immigrants who are 30 or younger and arrived in the United States before they turned 16 to apply.
They must have been living in the United States for at least five years and be in school or graduated or served in the military.
They cannot have been convicted of certain crimes.
The Migration Policy Institute and the Pew Hispanic Center estimate as many as 1.7 million people could be eligible.
It's part of a new Obama administration initiative called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Republican lawmakers say the program is an effort by the president to circumvent Congress after it failed to pass a law that would have accomplished the same thing.
For much of Antonio Alarcon's life, his parents have gone missing.