Locals React to Obama's New Immigration Policy
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- President Obama's decision to grant work permits to younger illegal immigrants directly impacts people in Mesa County. Immigrant labor at local farms is already important to many businesses.
The new policy has opened the door of opportunity to as many as 800,000 immigrants.
Jose Reyes Villanuera Arredondo, a 24-year-old who moved to America when he was 10, said, "Everybody needs a job, to pay your college tuition, what do you need? A job."
Arredondo says the new policy doesn't affect him directly, but it does affect some of his friends. He also said, "Just the basic regular jobs that people don't want, that's what we do."
One local farmer says he’s not familiar enough with the new policy to know how he feels about it. However, he says his farm couldn't run without the help of immigrant labor.
Richard Skaer, one of the owners of Z's Orchards and Produce, said, "It's hard to find good labor and it's hard to find legal labor in many instances. I'm glad that we have men and women that will help us in our orchards."
Carol Zadrozny, also owner of Z's Orchards and Produce, said, "Hispanic workers we have here are really professionals. They have grown up in the soil and they basically know how to do it expediently."
Many young people say they've been waiting for this day to come for a while.
"They're just normal people, they need to make money to support their families too," said 18-year-old Teresita Baca. Baca recently became a certified nurse aid.
Arredondo said, "It's a great plan. I'm very impressed with the government, very happy and excited to see the new changes."
For now they will have to wait and see what this change will mean.