CREATED Jun. 15, 2012
PALM DESERT--In a bold move, President Obama ordered a major change in immigration enforcement Friday. Saying he will stop deporting and allow work permits for illegal immigrants under 30 who are law abiding graduates or military.
Critics call it blatant political pandering. Residents in the Coachella Valley had mixed reaction to the President's announcement.
"It means everything to me because it means that the President believes in us," said resident Yazmin Franco. "He's trying to convince everyone else that we're no harm to this country. In the contrary we're trying to help out."
"Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you've done everything right your whole life; studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about," President Obama said.
The policy change affects the more than 800,000 illegal immigrants across the United States.
"For my people and the people around us that don't have papers and they're kids or our cousins or friends and don't have papers and everything, it's just a relief," said high school student Edith Aranda.
Others saying President Obama isn't looking out for dreamers, but looking for votes.
"We need to stop trying to get votes and political ideas," said Palm Desert resident Joann Cummins. "I feel that we need to abide by our constitution and these people need to obey our laws."
"Sorry he's looking for votes. That's all. He's just looking for votes. I don't go along with his ideas at all," a Palm Desert resident said.
It's a major shift in policy that side steps Congress and brings the nation one step closer to achieving the Dream Act.