US President Barack Obama

President Obama’s decision to legitimize up to 800,000 immigrants who came here with their parents and who will now be able to work legally is the greatest act of his presidency.

It shows a compassion and an understanding that is in the best interests of the people concerned and of the country they live in.

It reminds people why this country is so great, able to take bold steps, and react compassionately to what in the end of the day is a real crisis for millions of young immigrants.

These are people who have been brought here by their parents, crossing borders from Mexico to start a new life in America.

They are kids brought by parents from Ireland who will also fit into this category.

Most are too young to remember life anywhere else and the notion of returning them to the country of origin which they no longer know or recognize was always a completely cruel policy.

They are Americans in every meaningful sense of the word and have much to contribute to this country in the coming years. Now they will be able to, instead of living lives of real fear waiting for that midnight knock.

It is one thing to deport someone who came here willingly, knowing they were breaking the law to live illegally.

It is quite another to recognize that millions of children, who had no choice in the matter, are victims of an unfeeling and uncaring system.

The greatness of this country is not its military might or its over emphasis on its toughness in a fight.

It is the words on the Statue of Liberty written by Emma Lazarus that state:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

As an immigrant myself I have never been prouder of this country or this president than I am today. It is a huge achievement in the best and noblest traditions of America.