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Government and Politics

Central Coast reaction to President Obama's Executive Order on Immigration


Reactions are mixed on the Central Coast to President Obama's Executive Order to ease some immigration restrictions in the United States, potentially shielding up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.

Yesenia Decasaus with the Central Coast Union of Domestic Workers says the President's actions validate the strong Latino vote back in 2012.

“The people that I’ve been speaking with are saying 'Well, it’s about time, we’ve been waiting, we voted for him to do this,' understanding that congress and the senate have to act too, or should have acted," said Decasaus. "But, we have really put a lot of faith in the President to push for immigration reform."

Decasaus says those who support his actions need to be vocal about it.

Enrique Ruacho tracks the effects of policy decisions with the Santa Barbara-based group impACT California.

“It’s going to be a mixed blessing, obviously it’s great news for a lot of people and I think it’s going to introduce more stability in local communities and the economy," said Ruacho. "A lot that comes from the fact that one of the big economic engines is agriculture. A lot of the workers from that industry are undocumented."

John Peschong is the Chairman of the San Luis Obispo Republican Party. He says they've supportive of the guest worker program and have been for a long time, but this action goes too far.

“Something that’s as massive as this cannot be done by executive order," said Peschong. "It can only be done by working with the United States Congress to be able to craft something that can, and would be implemented and supported by a majority or the people— elected officials, as well as a majority of the people in the country."

Immediately following the President's statements, Central Coast Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) said she supports the effort to strengthen border security while keeping families from being "torn apart."

"These policies are critical for Central Coast families that have been living in the shadows for too long," Capps said in the statement. “However, the President’s announcement does not mean that Congress can or should continue to shirk its responsibility to address the problems and gaps in our current immigration system through comprehensive reform."

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