Based on early returns, the Obama administration's plan to grant residency and work permits to illegal immigrants brought here as youngsters is a success.
Thousands have already signed up for training and information sessions.
In Los Angeles on Wednesday, hundreds of potential applicants, likely a number of them from Ventura County, waited outside nonprofit offices for help filing paperwork to open the door to the staples of success in America: a work permit and later a Social Security card and a driver's license.
Wednesday was the first day the young illegal immigrants could apply for the program.
As many as 1.7 million could be eligible. The Associated Press cited internal Department of Homeland Security documents estimating 1.04 million would apply in the first year, with 890,000 accepted.
The clumsily named Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program covers illegal immigrants now age 15 to 31 who: were brought to the U.S. before age 16; have lived here continuously for five years; have no serious criminal convictions; are enrolled in or have completed high school or have served in the U.S. military.
The successful applicant gets a two-year work permit and legal residency. Unlike the stalled Dream Act, it is not a path to citizenship.
The program outrages opponents, mainly Republicans. "With unemployment at 8.3 percent, it's unconscionable that the Obama administration's amnesty program actually requires illegal immigrants to apply for work authorization in the U.S.," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
That mistakenly assumes temporarily legal immigrants can simply walk into jobs available to Americans. But illegal immigrants appeal to employers because they must work off the books and can't complain about employer violations of wage and hour laws.
Republicans who want to paint President Obama as soft on immigration ignore the fact that his administration has deported record numbers of illegal immigrants and that he's on course to deport more people in one term than the presumably tougher George W. Bush did in two.
This immigration plan is imperfect. But, in contrast to mass roundups, expulsions and a new Iron Curtain on our southern border, it shows that we are a humane people with a certain generosity of spirit in the land of opportunity.