Undocumented Immigrants Line Up for New Chance

Young immigrants who arrived in U.S. illegally apply for work permits.
3:00 | 08/15/12

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Transcript for Undocumented Immigrants Line Up for New Chance
And all day long, images like these poured into our news room. Tens of thousands of undocumented young immigrants coming out of the shadows. This is the day the president's new initiative begins to take hold, giving them a chance at the legal right to work and live openly in this country and abc's david wright was there, as the lines stretched into the distance. Reporter: They have been hiding in plain sight. Neighbors, classmates and workers with no legal right to be here. Today, some of the youngest members of this community began stepping out of the shadows. Among them, sophia campos, born in purr rue. I have been here since I was 6 years old. I am an american in every sense of the word. Except for that nine digit social security number. Reporter: Without that number, she couldn't apply for financial aid. That's how she first learned about her immigration status. Her parents had been too ashamed to tell her. As undocumented members of this community, we are often living in the shadows every day because of shame, because of fear of deportation. Reporter: For sew tia, that changes today. A new initiative from the obama administration will grant temporary work per milts and remove the threat of deportation for young people who qualify. You have to be under 31 and have arrived here by age 16. You have to be in school, graduated or served in the military. And no criminal record. Of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, as many as 1.5 million may qualify. My name is adrian reyna. I'm from mexico. My dream is to open a community center. eporter: THEY NOW HAVE A Chance to seize the american dream. My dream is to be an urban planner. Reporter: In chicago, and houston, and l.A., The lines have been growing all day. The new program has many critics, who call it an end-run around congress. It is no coincidence that this sweeping policy change was denounced less than five months less than five months before a presidential election. Reporter: But for see foe ya campos, it's a gond send. She graduated with honors from ucla. Now, she hopes to go to m.I.T. For grand ol. This is going to be as important as yourdy mroep ma. More. Up to this point, we hang ourdy mroep ma, you know, in our rooms and we say, "what now?" Reporter: Now, she can put her education to use. David wright, abc news, los angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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