Justino Mora, a leader of a movement of young illegal immigrants, is among the first to benefit from a program offering a two-year deportation deferral.


Ann Johansson for The New York Times

Mr. Mora, who was born in Mexico but has been living illegally in California since he was 11, was one of the first immigrants to send in his supporting documents for a new program that started on Aug. 15. But he was still stunned on Tuesday when he received a new message from the agency, containing one crucial word: “Approved.”

“I was a little surprised,” said Mr. Mora, now 23. “It definitely was overwhelming.”

Mr. Mora is one of the first immigrants nationwide to receive approval for a two-year deferral of deportation under the program, which President Obama announced in June. As of Thursday the agency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, had received more than 100,000 applications, officials said, with more than 63,000 in the last stages of review. But so far the agency has confirmed only 29 approvals.


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