The policy does not change the legal
status of the individuals, but does pause deportation hearings for two years
while allowing the individuals to apply for a work permit.
Missouri Lawmakers Split on New Obama Immigration Policy
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"I'm happy they're doing that," says Norma Mendez. "I'm all for that."
Mendez knows what it's like to be separated from family.
"It was like an uncertain future and we didn't know what was going to happen."
She was separated from her husband
for more than a year before he became a
"I walked in those shoes and I know what it's like to be separated and it's traumatizing."
The criteria needed to be eligible for the new Obama Administration policy includes coming to the U.S. under the age of 16, living in the U.S. for at least five years, being a current student or high school graduate -- that includes earning a GED -- or being someone who served in the military, and has not been convicted of a felony offense.
"Kids work so hard in school, then they don't want to graduate because what for?" asks Mendez. "They have no right to work. No right to scholarships. Some of these children didn't ask to be here. They were young when they came and if they're wanting to better themselves and better their futures I say why not."
Those eligible must be under the age of 30 and can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
"I know there's a lot of people that haven't adjusted their legal status and it would benefit a lot of people even here in Monett," says Mendez.
The policy change is expected to affect as many as 800,000 immigrants who have lived in fear of deportation.
"If they were to be deported to
"What if you were deported?" asks "Norma Manzano. "You're gonna leave your kids? You have no choice. You have to. That's hard on the children and hard on the parents."
Although the policy won't lead
toward citizenship, it will remove the deportation threat, making it easier for
eligible immigrants to remain in the
"Everyone should have a say so and be able to speak out," adds Manzano.
Both the women we spoke to say they'll support any candidate looking to benefit the Hispanic population.