Many illegal aliens will miss a one-time opportunity to become citizens because they fear that if they "surface" their relatives who are not eligible for amnesty would face deportation, a Latino group said Thursday in Los Angeles.
Unless several hurdles are overcome, "we will have a tragedy out there," said Harry Pachon, director of the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
A nine-state telephone survey by the group of private organizations processing amnesty applications showed that the most common reason eligible aliens are hesitating to apply is the fear that their family could be broken up by the deportation of ineligible relatives.
The second-biggest problem was obtaining documents to prove that the alien had been in the United States since January, 1982, a requisite for amnesty.