will not grant legalization or citizenship
San Antonio’s work force will begin getting a whole lot larger this week.
1200 WOAI’s Michael Board reports that starting Wednesday, applications for young illegal immigrants who want to take advantage of President Obama’s amnesty can start applying for temporary work permits.
Local immigration lawyers say their offices have been flooded with people getting their papers ready for Wednesday.
The business community is excited too. Greater Chamber of Commerce President Richard Perez says a move like this will be good for the economy.
“This will allow them to come out and do so legally, and allow them to become productive members of this community,” he said. “I think this will be a boon for this community.”
Approval will take a while and won’t be cheap. The feds are charging some $430 dollars for each young immigrant who wants to get a work permit.
The work permits will not confer citizenship or even long term resident status, like a green card. It will simply allow them to do what many have been doing in the shadows for years, work.
Perez points out that to qualify, migrants have to either be in school or have a degree, and that’s also good for the local economy.
“I think more importantly on the humanitarian side, these are the families who are currently working in our businesses right now,” he said. “We’re giving them the opportunity to have peace of mind.”
Perez says this will allow the community to improve the education level of its work force, which is something that has prevented San Antonio from attracting some high tech employers.
And, he says, all of the newly authorized workers will be paying taxes, and that will also help the local economy.