Illegal Immigrants See Opportunity in New Rule

The New York Times, 8/10/2012

The work permits that young illegal immigrants can begin applying for next week under a new government policy will let American employers tap a generation of educated workers who have been confined until now to the shadowy corners of the economy, experts on immigration policy say.

One of those could be Juan Escalante, a 23-year-old Venezuelan who has been in the country illegally since age 11 and is among those enthusiastic about the new opportunity. Not long ago, Mr. Escalante said, he feared that he might spend the rest of his life working as an assistant manager in an ice cream shop despite earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs at Florida State University.

Getting a work permit “would be amazing,” he said, allowing him to look for work on Capitol Hill “to see how policy is driven” and to save enough money to help him pursue a master’s degree in public policy.

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