Immigrants around the country closely followed President Obama’s speech last Thursday when he unveiled a set of actions on immigration, wondering if they or their family members qualify for temporary legal status.

That included an untold number of immigrants living on Martha’s Vineyard without documentation, many of whom are desperate to change their status, immigration advocates said this week.

“We have so many people who live in fear of simply existing,” said Rachel Self, an attorney who serves clients in Boston, Falmouth and the Vineyard, and has long family ties to the Island. “They just want to be doing things the right way and there has been no vehicle for them to do that.”

Island immigration attorney Rebecca McCarthy agreed. “I have gotten many phone calls, a lot of people have questions, and there is a lot of information that is flying around, on the news and online,” she told the Gazette.

There are no hard numbers on the actual size of the undocumented community on the Vineyard, although it is known that there are a large number of immigrants living here, some legally and others not. Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Self say their clients are mostly Brazilians and Eastern Europeans.

Mr. Obama’s programs offer a means for some immigrants to gain temporary legal status, a social security card, and with that, a driver’s license.

The changes affect two main groups: people who arrived in the country as children, and parents of either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

The first group is covered under a program called DACA, which stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The executive order removes age restrictions from this program and shortens the requirement for continuous residence.

The second group is parents of documented immigrants, who now have their own temporary relief program called DAP, or Deferred Action for Parents.

Ms. McCarthy expects that more Islanders will be affected by the parent program, as many have already enrolled in the original DACA program, which went live in 2012.

Since the executive actions were announced by the President, she said she has seen an uptick in calls from members of the community who hope they qualify for temporary relief.

“People are trying to figure out what is accurate and what is not,” she said.

In the wake of such an announcement, she said it’s common for people to want to take immediate action.

“Everyone wants to do something right now,” Ms. McCarthy said.

But there isn’t anything to do just yet. The programs do not go live for three to six months, and the Immigration Service has not even prepared the application forms yet.

Ms. Self said calls to her office were up tenfold in the last week.

“People are very aware of it,” she said.

For now, she’s just relaying information. “The thing I want to make sure everybody understands is that there is nothing to file now,” she said.

She held an information session on the changes on Tuesday and 20 people attended.

There are no Island organizations that specifically serve immigrants’ needs, but the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), is available as a resource to people across the state.

Portuguese speakers can also reach out to the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, a group based in Cambridge which has several satellite locations around the state.

Lately MIRA and MAPS have been hosting informational sessions about the reforms.

At MAPS, they have told immigrants to be wary of individuals who offer to help them file for the new programs.

“There are some attorneys offices that are already charging people to start to prepare the paperwork but no information has been released yet and no form has been offered for the agencies to work on,” said MAPS communication manager Renan Leahy. “They shouldn’t be charging anybody.”

He said once the forms are released, MAPS will help clients fill out the paperwork free of charge.

“If they fit the requirements, if they don’t have the criminal records, they can for sure look for the assistance from MAPS,” he said.

Amid all the change and new information to process, there’s also a catch-22. Undocumented immigrants who now decide to “come out of the shadows,” a phrase used by Mr. Obama in his speech this week, could actually

be putting themselves at greater risk. Temporary relief does not get these immigrants any closer to long-term legal status, but it does make them known to the authorities.

“That is the issue with this, you are bringing yourself forward, and you are doing so with the understanding that at any point it could be rescinded and enforced,” Ms. Self said.

A new president could repeal the orders and reverse the immigration reforms that Mr. Obama has put in place.

That said, Ms. Self does recommend that people who qualify apply for deferred action.

“I think it will be helpful for a lot of people and a lot of families,” she said. “They will not have to worry about whether they are going to be picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is a fear they have had to live with for a long time.”

Ms. McCarthy said the Island does not have a local Immigration and Customs Enforcement presence, so the threat of deportation is somewhat reduced here.

“Certainly ICE does come to the Island, and there are instances where they are transported to Boston, but there is a sense of a little bit of protection when you are here on the Island,” she said.

Still, difficulties persist.

“I think the biggest thing I have heard is that individuals on the Island want to drive; they want to have a driver’s license so that there isn’t a fear that if they drive they will be pulled over for not having proper license,” Ms. McCarthy said.

For immigrants who qualify, the executive actions will enable them to drive and work legally, and feel more a part of the community, Ms. McCarthy said.

“They want to contribute more to the community and provide for their families,” she said.