June 16, 2012. At the Manhattan office of the New York Immigration Coalition, a group of activists and students directly affected by the new policy gathered to watch Obama announce the plan. Reported by Mathew R. Warren, Channel 4 NBC New York. Excerpt:

While the new policy does not create a path to citizenship, as the DREAM Act would, it will allow eligible immigrants to work legally and remain in the country for extended periods.

Approximately 3,600 illegal immigrants graduate high school in New York state each year, and another estimated 1,700 enter college, according to a report by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“For many of us who went on and got that degree, it’s important that we’re finally going to be able to use it,” said Garcia, who said he received his associate degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and is now pursuing a major in political science at Hunter.

Mubashar Ahmed, a 22 year-old illegal immigrant originally from Pakistan who watched the president’s speech, said he was ecstatic about the news that he could now pursue a career in the U.S.

Just yesterday, Ahmed, a senior at City College who is majoring in chemical engineering, was applying for jobs abroad, believing he could never work legally within this country in his chosen field.

“Now, I’ll be able to do what I love and I’ll have the same chances that my friends that are graduating with me have,” Ahmed said.