President Barack Obama’s three-year-old deferred action programs for immigrants living in the country illegally have together helped more than 20,000 Mexicans in Colorado, according to that country's Consulate General.
On Monday's three-year anniversary, Carlos Bello urged more of his country’s citizens living in the United States illegally to apply for the programs, which allow certain children whose parents brought them into the country illegally to receive a renewable, two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.
Critics of the program fear it will encourage more illegal immigration and drive up social services costs. But Bello says the deferred action program makes the U.S. stronger.
“It brings you growth of economy a growth of culture, a growth of customs that will enrich the country and prepare the country for a much better situation to negotiate with anybody worldwide," he said Monday.
An expansion of the deferred action program for children is tied up in court. So is the deferred action for parents here illegally who have children who are U.S. citizens. It's on hold until after a court challenge.