Immigrant students and supporters have rallied in Palm Desert and downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the Obama administration's decision to stop deportations and grant work permits to some younger illegal immigrants.
In Los Angeles, the crowd of about 100 took over a street in front of the federal Metropolitan Detention Center and blocked a freeway entrance ramp Friday morning, but police convinced the group to disperse without any arrests.
The supporters of the so-called DREAM Act also were calling upon the administration to go further in legalizing their immigration status.
The administration's new policy is aimed at young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have led law-abiding lives.
In Palm Desert, a similar group of students and educators watched the president's speech at Mamacita's Restaurant, at the intersection of Velie Drive and Cook Street.
They then marched the half-mile to the Telemundo television affiliate -- KUNA-TV -- owned by the parent company of KESQ-TV and CBS Local 2.
There, they spoke with reporters about why they felt the presidential announcement was so important not only to them, but the countless people who work in the fields on the eastern Coachella Valley and their families.
California Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, D-Coachella, called the new rules a victory for families throughout the state.
"It enables hard-working, young people who were brought to our country as children to contribute to our economy and give back to society, openly and without fear.," Perez said. "It will have positive ramifications for the immigrant students in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys, and I believe it moves our society in the right direction.
Still, some local lawmakers didn't agree.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, called it a band-aid approach.
" I continue to firmly believe that we need to strengthen our borders, approve robust e-verify legislation and reform the current guest worker program," she said in a written statement. "While this offers some hope to kids unfairly caught in the middle of this debate, the president really needs to roll up his sleeves and work with Congress on a responsible and balanced long-term answer to immigration rather than try to cobble together a solution through administrative actions."