Festival-goers overwhelmingly support President's immigration policy

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will now be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation.

It's all under a policy announced Friday by President Obama.

Most of the folks Saturday attending Toledo's Latino Festival overwhelmingly support the President.

Illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30.

"Congress is deadlocked. I don't think they're very functional right now. So it was a great opportunity to take advantage of that," said Ramon Perez.

"Also, it gives them opportunities, opportunities to further themselves in the United States," said Gerald Rosales

In addition, a person must have been in the country for at least 5 continuous years, have no criminal history, have graduated from a U.S. High School or earned a GED or served in the military.

"I believe our country was founded on that sort of thing. Immigrants, immigration," said Juan Aguayo.

Finally, those eligible can apply for a renewable work permit good for two years at a time.

"They're good workers. A lot of them here already. Why not give them a chance," asked Anita Mora.

Her husband Valentine agrees.

"Don't matter who does it. Jobs are going to go one way or the other. Everybody wants to work," said Mr. Mora.

Immigration attorney Svetlana Schreiver calls the policy change "extraordinary."

"They will actually get work authorization documents, a Social Security card, drivers license and most important of all, the right to go to college," said Svetlana Schreiver.

Right now President Obama is supported by the majority of Hispanic voters, voters crucial to him in swing states like Ohio.

But some at the Latino Festival want him to relax deportation issues even more.

Copyright 2012 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

"We put him in. We can put him out" says James Guzman.