The Obama administration announced today that it will halt the deportations and begin granting work permits for some undocumented students eligible for the DREAM Act.
In a press conference announcing the policy change, the president explained his reasons for issuing the Executive Order—which is a dream come true for many young Latinos and their families.
"They pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their hearts, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper," Obama said.
The policy change will apply to young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, along the same lines as the Dream Act, a decade-old bill that passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate in 2010. It will also enable Dream Act-eligible young people, often called DREAMers, to stay in the United States without fear of deportation, and without legislation from a Congress that is unlikely to pass a bill.
"I've said time and time and time again to Congress, send me the Dream Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away," Obama said. "Both parties wrote this legislation."
Shortly after Obama's Executive Order this morning, several Latino celebs sent The Huffington Post emails about the President's announcement.
FROM EVA LONGORIA TO PEREZ HILTON, HERE ARE SEVEN LATINO CELEBS REACTING TO THE NEWS!
"Because of President Obama, young people who pledge allegiance to our flag, are raised in our schools, contribute to our economy, and serve in our military will no longer be deported because of the decisions of their parents. President Obama knows what we all know: these proud and hard-working young adults are Americans in every way but one, on paper. I have been proud of this President on so many occasions, but it will be hard to top how I feel today."
"I'm so proud of our President. My hope is that Latinos really represent in this Election on a local level as well as presidential...The Dream Act is an idea whose time has definitely come!"
"Well good, I'm glad to hear that! That was something that I was waiting for them to do and I'm glad they pulled the trigger on it. I'm glad to see that they're taking a stand and supporting us in the way that I was hoping they would. I'm a big Obama supporter. It makes me feel even better about supporting that team, and Obama as President, which I have since the beginning."
"President Obama's decision to begin granting work permits for Dream Act-eligible students is truly a great step forward for the Latino community. I believe that this will not only allow young Latino immigrants to feel comfortable in the U.S. workforce, but will also foster a stronger relationship between Latino immigrants, Latino-Americans and the US Government as a whole. As a surrogate for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, I am proud to say that I am standing by a President who stands by the Latino community."
"Obama has shown up for a lot of minority groups this year! Proud of him!"
"This is great news for our community and we hope it is not only a part of his campaign. Because our vote can change an election and this act can change, and impact so many families from being apart. So I hope this is the beginning of big change for the Latinos living - but mostly working hard - in the U.S."
"We are very happy to see President Obama 'Do the Right Thing' as he said. It is a wonderful day for the DREAMers that are the future of our country and an important first step toward much needed Immigration Reform."