Greensboro, NC-- On Friday, President Barack Obama gave young people who are not legal citizens an indefinite okay to live and work in the U.S.
The plan will not provide amnesty or an automatic path to citizenship and it doesn't apply to every young illegal immigrant but it offers a lenient grace period for 800,000 young people living in fear of deportation.
The policy affects people under the age of 30 brought to the United States before the age of 16 with no criminal history. The individuals must have graduated from a U.S. high school, earned their GED or served in the military.
They would be granted two-year work visas, with unlimited renewal, but they would not be granted citizenship.
News2 spoke to two young people who are not legal U.S. citizens. Giovanna Hurtado and Moises Serrano are members of El Cambio, an organization that works with undocumented immigrants in the Triad. They shared their thoughts on the new policy.
"It was very emotional. And it was something that, it was a surprise and I just started crying," said Giovanna Hurtado.
Moises Serrano said, "I've been living in the shadows for 22 years and to think that this day, I'm coming into the light, is kind of unrealistic."
"Your home is where your heart is and my heart is fully here in North Carolina in the United States," added Hurtado.
Both Hurtado and Serrano explained their fear of deportation and their frustration with the law.
Serrano explained, "After high school, our country was telling us, 'Oh, by the way, you don't have a social security card so you have to go back.'"
"I have no memory of Mexico. I am as American as they come. I consider myself American and I think going back would be a culture shock. Imagine yourself growing up here your whole life and being sent to a country you don't remember," said Hurtado.
To watch our full interview with Giovanna Hurtado and Moises Serrano, click on the attached video.
On the News 2 Facebook page, some of you said this policy takes away jobs from U.S. citizens while others said it's a political move to gain votes for President Obama in November. Still others, think this new policy isn't enough. Join the conversation on the News 2 Facebook page.
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