ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The new policy White House policy limiting the deportation of illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as children is expected to have a big effect on New Mexico.
And while it has some here cheering, others are not so sure it's the right way to go.
Under an executive order signed Friday by President Obama, the policy applies to aliens under 30 without criminal records brought into the country when they were 15 or younger and have been here at least five years.
They also must be in school or have graduated from high school with a diploma or GED or have served in the military.
This change hits home for many students in Albuquerque like Esli Beltr n.
She's a University of New Mexico junior brought here illegally when she was just 8 months old.
The president's action was welcome news even though Beltr n knows it's a temporary fix that could easily be undone by a new president.
"Of course it has concerned us," Beltr n said. "But we also look on the bright side, and we say you know we have the opportunity now.
"We have the opportunity to work, and we're going to take it and we're going to contribute to our country. This is our country, too."
Others interviewed by KRQE News 13 Friday were upset saying the move would hurt unemployed Americans by allowing illegal immigrants to take work.
One student doesn't think simply being here at a young age is a good enough reason to stay here.
"If they were raised here their whole life, and they can speak good English, they should be able to stay here," high school junior Sebastian Rivera said. "But if they can't speak English then they shouldn't be here."
As you might imagine, many Republican New Mexican politicians aren't happy at all with the change.
In a statement, Rep. Steve Pearce accused the president of playing politics by going around Congress to score points with his political base.
Others have been commenting in response to a posting by KRQE News 13 anchor Kim Vallez on
her Facebook page.
Kenneth: It is the "right thing to do" and I hope Obama is doing it for the right reasons. Timing is questionable.
Donna: How can this be done? Isn't this circumventing the LAW and Congress? Are we now subjected to ruling by Executive Order? What will be next...Obama appoints himself King? Just whose country is this?
Callie: If you come over legally then ok, if. Your over here illegally they need to be deported
Melanie" If they are brought over when they are, say, 2 years old and this is the only life they have ever known, its hardly fair to deport them to a country that they may never have even visited.
You can still share your comments on Kim's Facebook page.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.