NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Thousands of undocumented immigrants spent the day lining up around the country Wednesday to buy two years of amnesty from the federal government.
It's called "deferred action." President Obama passed it by executive order this summer.
It lets illegal immigrants who meet certain guidelines be guaranteed not to be kicked out of the country for two years.
Not many people would be eager to crack into the books at Fairfield University.
"I'm excited for those classes," said 17-year-old Guadalupe Ramirez.
However, Ramirez is not only excited, she gets emotional thinking about the opportunity her parents gave her when they decided to illegally move from Mexico.
"My parents have given me so much that they've worked so hard for me," said Ramirez, "so I want to be able to pay back everything they did. It just feels good."
At the time, she was just four years old and doesn't remember the journey.
Now with a new federal initiative, Ramirez can apply for deferred action for two years, keeping her safe from deportation.
"I wasn't that scared, but I knew I had to be careful because I knew someday the police could come," she said. "Anything could happen."
"I believe anyone who is undocumented has that at one point, but I don't think they'll deport someone who wants to become a civil engineer in this country," said Jordy Padilla, of New Haven.
Padilla is studying at the University of New Haven. He flew from Ecuador at age 7 and never looked back.
"I was excited to come to the United States, but I was sad," said Padilla, "but I left my uncle there."
There's nearly 2 million people like Padilla and Ramirez in the country.
They lined up for applications in California and Illinois.
To qualify you have to be under age 31, have come to the US before age 16, have no felony convictions, and you have to be a student, with a high school diploma, military service, or a GED, and have identification.
"This will give us opportunity to show our talents," Padilla said. "Show what we could do when someone gives us opportunities to succeed."
"I'm really happy," said Ramirez.
"Tears of joy right," asked News 8's Stephanie Simoni.
"Yes," she replied.
There is an application fee of almost $500.
You also have to prove you have lived in the country for the past five years.
They've actually set up an office in New Haven to help folks with the application process.
New Haven Legal Assistance will help students navigate through the process, they can call legal aid at 203-946-4811.
For more information, visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website .
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