CHARLOTTE – Young Latinos described President Barack Obama's immigration policy change as a day of happiness.
Through the policy change, many younger local illegal immigrants can begin to apply work permits, and no longer live their lives in the shadows, at risk of deportation.
It's estimated the move could affect 800,000 people in the nation and hundreds, if not thousands, in the Charlotte region.
The cause was personal for recent East Mecklenburg graduate Selena Medina, who went to Washington last year to lobby for changes that affect younger illegal immigrants.
Medina and others called Obama's move a step forward, but also incentive to keep the momentum for broader immigration reform and a path to citizenship for more Latinos.
"I think it does kind of take this fear away from any student who lets say they had to drive somewhere or go to work, or anything, it takes that fear away of, 'What if a cop stops me, what if I get deported?" said Selena Medina.
But not everyone is happy with the president's decision. Opponents feared the ruling could cost legal immigrants jobs and opportunities in the months and years ahead.