For 19-year-old Joel Sati, the fear of being deported back to his home country of Kenya might be coming to an end.
"For all intents and purposes, I am American," Sati said.
Sati was brought to the U.S. as a child when his mother crossed the border illegally.
The Silver Spring resident is now happy he might no longer have to live with the fear of being in the U.S. without legal papers.
"The reason my mother and I came here was for the opportunity for a new life, a better life," Sati explained. "The dream is still there, the drive is still there and we are getting ever closer to that being actualized."
In June, President Barack Obama ordered a "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," a temporary protection from deportation.
The policy change affects up to 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation. Starting Wednesday, young immigrants with illegal status can begin applying for the deportation waiver.
For 22-year-old Karina, who came to America eight years ago from Mexico, it is a dream come true. A dream the Wheaton resident has fought for, even demonstrating at the steps of the Supreme Court.
"When I was there, it was very compelling knowing I was fighting for something bigger," Karina added. "We are not going to be in the shadows anymore, we are going to get our work permits and we are going to make this society even better."
For more information on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or an application, click here.