By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) – Long lines formed at help centers and lawyers' office across America Wednesday as thousands of young, undocumented immigrants began applying for relief from deportation.
They took advantage of one of the biggest immigration policy changes in years. An executive order by President Barack Obama allows those who entered the country illegally as children to remain and work without fear of deportation for at least two years.
A crowd formed at Chicago's Navy Pier Wednesday to get help from immigration lawyers and fill out forms.
"I was able to learn the customs and traditions, and I am used to living the life here," Nayeli Manzano, 16, told CNN affiliate WLS-TV.
She arrived in the United States as a child from Mexico and said she is very much American.
"I feel I am a citizen," she said. "The only thing that is stopping me is a little piece of paper."
Tuesday, at a Latino community center in New York, Maria, a young Chilean, leaped from her seat.
"I've found the form!" she screamed.
She was with a number of other undocumented immigrants meeting there to get legal advice in anticipation of the release of the form, which authorities surprisingly posted a day before they had said they would.
The form, titled "Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," was dated August 15, 2012, and bore the expiration date of February 28, 2013.