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Obama’s Oakland Headquarters Occupied By Immigration Reform Protesters

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An immigration protester makes a phone call from inside the occupied Oakland headquarters of the Obama campaign. (CBS)

An immigration protester makes a phone call from inside the occupied Oakland headquarters of the Obama campaign. (CBS)

OAKLAND (CBS SF/AP) – The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives, according to administration officials. The shift comes as immigration reform activists have camped out inside Obama’s Oakland campaign headquarters.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s Full Press Release On The New Policy

Obama’s election-year initiative addresses a top priority of a growing Latino electorate that has opposed administration deportation policies. The decision will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants. Two senior administration officials described the plan on condition of anonymity ahead of its announcement Friday.

The announcement comes as a group of young undocumented immigrant students has taken over President Obama’s Oakland campaign headquarters, on Telegraph Ave. near 17th St.

The four students, who are sitting in the campaign office, said the policy change that stops certain deportations is a step in the right direction, but they said, essentially, that they’ll believe it when they see it.

President Obama was scheduled to make a statement on the plan to stop deporting and begin giving work permits to some younger illegal immigrants. KCBS will air President Obama’s comments, live, on 740AM and 106.9FM.

Illegal immigrants will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school, earned a GED, or served in the military.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The activists, who began the sit-in at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, are stuck behind locked glass doors but a protest organizer said the demonstration proves that individuals can influence policy change at the highest levels.

The activists said they’ll stay put until they actually see a change in the deportation policy – words, said one activist, aren’t the same as action.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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