New policy is estimated to affect 30 percent of Waterloo Latinos - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New immigration policy is estimated to affect 30 percent of Waterloo Latino population

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

President Barack Obama says he plans on easing an immigration policy that will affect 800,000 illegal immigrants.

The policy bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the DREAM Act.

Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, and graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or served in the military.

Obama said the change would become effective immediately.

The YWCA in Waterloo works with immigrants in the Cedar Valley.

YWCA Assistant Director Julia Aguilar Reyes says at least 30 percent of the Waterloo Latino population will be affected by this policy.

"It's going to be great we've been waiting for quite a while," Reyes said. "We actually have a big chunk of clients that fall under that category.  This is going to be wonderful-- we're going to be helping them with filing for approval and hopefully pretty soon they'll be able to be legal."

It will make it possible for many immigrants to apply for financial aid, insurance, and a driver's license-- as well as take advantage of the opportunity to own property.

This move is setting off Iowa Congressman Steve King (R).

King said in a statement Friday, "The American people have rejected amnesty because it will erode the rule of law. In much the same way, I believe the American people will reject President Obama for his repeated efforts to violate the constitutional separation of powers."

In a radio interview with Mike Huckabee Friday, King said he plans to sue the Obama administration over the immigration announcement.

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