President Barack Obama made a bold announcement early Friday afternoon concerning illegal immigration amid the 2012 presidential elections.
Obama took the nation's airwaves on just after 1:15 p.m. Friday.
The president said the federal government will stop deporting some illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children and don TMt have a criminal history.
President Obama also outlined a plan to allow illegal immigrant student to apply for work permits to stay in the United States legally.
"These young people are going to make extraordinary contributions to our society... the idea that we should treat them as expendable makes no sense," Obama said.
Under the Obama administration's plan, the following illegal immigrant students would qualify for a work permit:
Came to the country under the age of 16 Have lived in the US for at least 5 years Be in school, a US Veteran or have graduated No criminal history
The president said the work permit program would improve the American economy as well as border security is morally the correct thing to do.
With swelling numbers of Latino voters in the United Sates, Obama told reporters that he believe Republican lawmakers will come around.
"It's the right thing to do for the American people," Obama said.
Critics say the plan sidesteps the U.S. Congress and their authority over immigration law.
Action 4 News is working on getting local reactions to the announcement for our 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts.