As of Monday, November 19, 2012
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In this April 5, 2011 file photo, illegal immigrant Viridiana Martinez, right, is comforted by activist Mohammad Abdollahi before Martinez is arrested during a protest for rights for higher education for illegal immigrants that blocked traffic in Atlanta.
ATLANTA — More than 10,000 illegal immigrants living in Georgia have requested temporary protection from deportation under a plan established by President Barack Obama.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has granted over 53,000 requests for protection from deportation since the government began accepting applications in August. Georgia ranks ninth nationally in the number of people who have applied.
To be eligible, applicants have to prove they arrived in the U.S. before they turned 16 and are under 30 years old. They must be high school graduates or in school, or have served in the military, and they cannot have a serious criminal record.
The new policy does not provide legal status, and protection from deportation and work authorization is only for two years.