Sacramento Reacts to Obama’s Immigration Speech

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SACRAMENTO-

As President Obama sounded off in Washington about new immigration policy, others were too - on both sides of the issue.

"This is not immigration reform. This is something the president can do to check a box and then ignore it till the next round of elections," Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said.

Across town the tone was quite different.

That was the sound in at least one spot in Sacramento as union workers gathered to watch what they saw as the dawn of a better America for their members and all of California.

"I'm extremely proud of the president for taking this action," said Yvonne Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000.

"We have been fighting for so long for common sense, comprehensive immigration reform. This is not an amnesty," said Lino Pedres, president of the Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Pedres seemed to be buying the non-amnesty part of the message the president was selling hard as a feature of his new plan to address the 12 million people in this country illegally.

"It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently," Obama said as he described his new vision for immigration.

What the president is offering now is a deportation focus on felons, not families.

It's one that would allow undocumented parents of legal residents or American citizens who've been in the U.S. for more than 5 years, to live without the threat of removal for three years at a time f they register, undergo background checks, pay taxes and submit to things like fingerprinting.

Two days after emerging on the web as the commander in chief's critic in chief on immigration and motivated by the recent deaths of two deputies allegedly at the hands of an undocumented shooter, Sheriff Jones is unimpressed with Obama's new moves.

"I am disappointed in the sense that I don't think we're any closer to immigration reform than we were yesterday.   And in fact frankly I think we're a bit further because it divides the group.  It sends some of them further into the shadows while qualifying or validating some of them," said Jones.

Congressional Republicans are  considering some form of retaliation for Obama's decision to act on his own.

It may come in the form of a money battle, with attempts to de-fund the part of the budget that would cover the plan laid out Thursday night.

It may also evolve into an all-out government shut down.

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