Debate over effects of immigration policy change

Democrats cheered Friday's announcement, but Republican were largely left jeering at President Barack Obama's executive order on deferred deportation.

"We're no longer talking about the economy, which is in bad shape, State Rep. Aaron Pea said. We're talking about immigration."

The Edinburg Republican said Obama's plan on deferred action on deportations brought him mixed feelings.

He said he somewhat supports what it means to the hundreds of Valley students that could benefit, but not how Obama went about it.

"Here you have a president who is down in the polls, he explained. The enthusiasm from the Hispanic community is low. He made promises he would deal with immigration and he hasn't."

Pea recognized Obama TMs strategy was brilliant, but said it is a political move to pander to Latino voters during an election year.

However, whether those votes will materialize at the polls remains unclear.

"I think what it TMs going to do when it comes to the base in both parties, it TMs going to harden their positions," Pea predicted.

He argued any real action must come from lawmakers Washington.

But Eden Ramirez, the Hispanic Caucus Vice President for College Democrats, said a move from Congress is long overdue.

"Our president takes initiative, our president takes a stance," Ramirez said. Our president is clearly doing what he has to do in the spectrum of his authority.

He added that deferred action on deportation is not an end goal, but just the beginning of more changes to come

"It TMs the first step in the right direction to pass the DREAM Act and get comprehensive immigration reform, he said.

Both, Pea and Ramirez agreed that with immigration in the spotlight, now is the time to talk about it and come up with a solution.

Republicans' repeated criticism is that Obama ignored the constitution by bypassing Congress TM authority.

But the Obama Administration countered claiming the move was needed as Congress works on a long term solution.