NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Elected officials and immigration advocates are urging the children of immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to apply or reapply for documentation.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, immigrants who entered the country before turning 16 are eligible to enroll in the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which allows them to avoid deportation and obtain a U.S. work permit.

READ MORE: FBI Says Body Found In Grand Teton National Park Believed To Be Gabby Petito

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, D-Queens, and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, D-Queens, were among those who called on young immigrants to take action during a news conference Tuesday at Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens.

“Once your deadline hits, you know you are undocumented again,” Meng said.

READ MORE: NYC Restaurant Owners Sound Off On Vaccine Mandate

Antonio Alarcon, 20, of Queens, is among a half-million immigrants who must reapply to remain in the U.S. legally. As a result of the program –adopted by the Obama administration in 2012 — the LaGuardia Community College student now sees a future.

“I was able to get a Social Security number,” Alarcon said. “I was able to get an I.D.

“It has really changed our life, like completely. I was able to change to Arizona without all the fear of being deported.”

MORE NEWS: 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards: Complete List Of Winners And Nominees

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]