NASHVILLE, Tenn.- President Obama's announcement the U.S. will stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children is getting mixed reviews.
The policy shift has provoked strong opinions from both supporters and opponents.
Recent Lipscomb University graduate Tabbata Castillo got the news via text alert. She said the change will allow her, and thousands of undocumented immigrants in Tennessee to apply for work permits and advance their careers.
"I was just so happy," said Castillo, "there are no words to express how over joyed I was, and excited to hear what was going on."
She said it is a relief to no longer live in fear of being deported as she looks for jobs.
"Now I can take tests to find a job and do what I really love," said Castillo, "I'm excited to start doing that."
Republican U.S. Representative Diane Black sent a letter to President Obama asking him to reverse the decision. She stated, "Once again, President Obama is prioritizing election-year politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people."
Rep. Black also said she believes the policy change will negatively impact the economy.
"We already have a problem with the unemployment rate being 8 percent for last 40 months," said Rep. Black, "this will flood the market with people who should be here. It isn't fair to U.S. citizens."
President Obama's policy would impact 800,000 people who meet the following qualifications: are younger than 30 years old, and came to the U.S. before the age of 16, can prove they have been living in the U.S. for at least 5 years, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military. The new rules are not a permanent fix or a path to citizenship.