Young Immigrants Prepare for New U.S. Deportation Policy

Atlanta , Georgia - Daniel Guadalupe stared at the passport application in front of him, dumbfounded.
His problem was not the questions asked, but the language they were written in.
"I don't speak Spanish very well," he said as he struggled to fill out the Mexican government form. "I'll have to call my mom." The 18-year-old is one of more than a million people that U.S. officials estimate could benefit from the Obama administration's deferred deportation program aimed at illegal immigrants younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16.
Details about how immigrants can apply for the program, which administration officials announced last month, have not been released. But already young people are flooding Mexican consular offices around the United States, trying to get the citizenship documents they'll need from their home country in order to ask for a reprieve from U.S. immigration officials.
This week, Guadalupe waited in a long line at the Mexican consulate in Atlanta before a clerk took his fingerprints, reviewed his documents and helped him fill out the passport form in a language he sometimes struggles to understand.
The high school senior was born in Mexico but brought illegally to the United States when he was 8 years old.
Most of the people he hangs out with speak English, the teen said, and he only speaks Spanish with his parents.
Getting a passport from a country he barely remembers is the first step to get into college, Guadalupe said. He hopes to study music somewhere in Georgia, the state where he's lived since arriving in the United States. "I feel like I need this opportunity to become a U.S. citizen," he said. But first, he must prove he is a Mexican.

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