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RALEIGH -- "I am undocumented. I've been here since I was seven years old. I'm 25 now," said NC Dream Team co-founder Viridiana Martinez.
Martinez is among many in the state fighting for immigration reform. As the debate continues a new immigration directive announced by President Barack Obama Friday could provide some relief to young people trying to live and work in America.
"This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people," said President Barack Obama.
Effective immediately, people brought to the United States before age 16 and currently aren't older than 30, with a high school diploma, are eligible to receive work permits and also eligible to receive deferred action for two years.
While the plan gives leniency to young immigrants critics feel it trivializes a very important issue.
"It's almost as if Obama is appealing to the illegal immigrants not to flee the country and stay here and be some form of constituency... it shows clearly that Obama is not on the side of american citizens. He's on the side of people that have broken our laws to come here illegally," said ALIPAC President William Gheen.
But Martinez feels the president's announcement doesn't do enough for the undocumented community.
"If he's a friend of the immigrant and he really wants to help Dream Act eligible youth, give us an executive order," said Martinez.
Those that want work permits must have no criminal record. Immigration and customs enforcement can begin the application process within sixty days as the new directive becomes the latest issue to impact the ongoing immigration debate.