Thousands gather outside El Salvador, Mexico consulates seeking residency

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on August 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 14 at 7:32 PM

HOUSTON—Thousands of people gathered outside of the Mexico and El Salvador consulates Tuesday morning in hopes of staying in this country legally.

The illegal immigrants were packed outside the Consulado General de El Salvador in the 10300 block of Harwin and lines wrapped around the building at the Mexican consulate on Caroline.

The people were scrambling to get IDs and passports before Wednesday, when Homeland Security begins accepting applications for deferred action, allowing them to stay in the country legally.

In June, President Obama announced undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children and who meet other specific requirements can get temporary relief and avoid deportation.

It’s not a green card or path to citizenship, but many say it brings hope. So many people showed up Monday night and Tuesday morning that the consulate was booked for days.

“People have been waiting for this for a very long time. I’ve been raised here since I was four, so I’ve been waiting for this day for a very long time. So it is worth it,” said Nelly Hernanez as she waited in line.

“I’ve been here my whole life—been here since I was 9 months. So hopefully I’ll get my driver’s license and be able to start driving, go back to school. Hopefully play some football,” said Roger Tamez.

There were people still camped outside the Consulate Tuesday night.  They were told that on Wednesday customers will again be served on a first-come first-served basis.

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