The news, of course, emphasizes that this measure comes in an election year. Hispanics are the fastest growing voting block in the US, and Obama is giving them some hope and change, in exchange (I presume) for an easy re-election. The conservatives will be up in arms about him caving to pressure from illegal aliens in exchange for votes. The liberals may not want the remaining 142,000,000 to have to be deported. (Not to mention the other nationalities.)
The reality of this situation, in my view, is that Obama is to be lauded for finally tackling this problem. Lots of other politicians and presidents have had a lot to say about it, but done nothing. There is no solution that will please everybody. But this solution pleases me. The work permits will only be issued to illegal youths who have otherwise not been caught violating any laws. If nothing else, it will be an incentive to children of illegal immigrants to keep their noses clean. It will drive them into either education or the military, and provide an way for them to find legal work once permitted.
(I wonder: How much more will migrant farm workers demand for a wage if they have a high school diploma? Right now the majority decidedly does not have much US education. I remember from when I got my South Carolina CDL with passenger and air brake endorsements, that migrant farm workers were permitted to sit in the aisle of the bus. Everyone else had to sit in a seat. How many southern laws will this change influence? It will be interesting to watch.)
The specifics of the plan are that the youth allowed to stay must be under age 30, must have been brought into the country before age 16, and must have been here at least 5 continuous years. They must have graduated from a US high school or college, or have served in the military. The work permits will be good for two years and can be renewed indefinitely.