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Mexican Consulate Helping Immigrant Families Understand, Prepare for Changes

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NATOMAS-

As immigrant families celebrate the immigration plan announced by the president Thursday, the Mexican Consulate and other groups are making sure they are informed and prepared for the changes.

Almost 20 years ago, Ulises Ponce immigrated from Mexico to pursue the American dream in California.

He says he's been waiting a long time for this type of change. To him, it's a step towards a more stable life for his family.

"A big surprise. We are in shock now. We can't believe it yet because it's one of the things we are waiting for a long time," Ponce said.

Monday the consul general announced ways the Mexican consulate is preparing to help local immigrant families take advantage of Obama's executive action.

"Even those who do not qualify see this first - as a recognition of their contribution to society, secondly - as a great achievement on their part and third - as an opportunity to get out of the shadows," Consul General Carlos Gonzalez Guitierrez said.

The plan will protect about 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.

It will also extend the existing DACA program which gives relief to those brought to the US as children.

The application process has not yet begun, and immigration attorneys are warning about possible scams.

"We want to make sure that, with this new form of relief, that families will not become vulnerable to immigration consultant fraud and that they pay someone for an application that doesn't exist," Sakd Amagda Perez, supervising attorney at the UC Davis immigration law clinic, told FOX40 Monday.

To keep immigrant families informed, Mexican consulate will launch an informational webpage. The office will also stay open an hour later to help more people prepare their documents.

The Catholic Church is also doing outreach in the community.

Catholic leaders held a forum Monday night at National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe downtown.

The Mexican Consulate is also holding a series of workshops. The First one is Dec. 5 at 5 p.m.