The Immigration and Naturalization Service office downtown was to remain open until the midnight deadline for people to file documents to support their request for a Section 245 (I) adjustment of status.
The section of the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act that went into effect in December allows illegal aliens already in the United States criminally to seek legal status if they have the sponsorship of a close relative or an employer and pay a $1,000 fee.
The fee amounts to a bribe, a critic of the act said Monday on Fox News Channel. A Fox newscaster questioned why the U.S. should reward people who are in the country illegally.
Critics of the law see it as, among other things, a way for Democrats to add likely Democrat voters to their rosters.
The act allows illegal aliens to apply to stay in the country without first returning to their nation of origin. An estimated 640,000 people nationwide were eligible to apply for legal residency under Bill Clinton's LIFE act.
The deadline to submit either a labor certification application or an immigrant visa petition in support of the application was midnight Monday.
While the paperwork can be mailed in to the INS with a postmark by midnight April 30, a large number of people instead chose to appear in person at INS offices in major cities across the country.
Dozens of people from virtually every continent have arrived in the dead of night for the past several days to wait for the 6 a.m. opening of the downtown Los Angeles INS office, the busiest immigration office in the nation.
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