BATON ROUGE - President Barack Obama's unprecedented executive order protecting five million illegal immigrants from deportation is being met with harsh criticism.
"This is an issue of the president going above and beyond the powers that he has granted to him by the constitution," Louisiana Republican Party spokesman Ben Voelkel said.
The president's plan allows people who've been in the U.S. for five-years and have U.S. connections through family to register, pay taxes and stay legally. Republicans believe the president over stepped the law by issuing his order without the backing of congress. The GOP sees the president's protective order as strictly a political move.
"The president needs to be held accountable for his overreach," Voelkel said. "I think that's something that is going to be happening."
The order last three years and does not give the undocumented immigrants citizenship, the right to vote nor access to health care.
"We want more of these folks participating in the legal processes," democratic political expert Gary Segura said.
Democrats see the president's move as necessary to keep the economy thriving.
"Undocumented workers pick every head of lettuce, every strawberry," Segura said. "If you've eaten a piece of chicken in the last year, there's a very good chance the price of that chicken was lower because an undocumented worker worked in the chicken processing plant."
As for it possibly being unconstitutional, democrats are not concerned.
"The president does not have to agree with congress on everything that he chooses to do. In fact if that were the case, we wouldn't be holding elections for them separately," Segura said.