Some locals are praising the president's stance that would allow millions of people in the country illegally to avoid deportation - at least temporarily - and get work permits. Others say it will hurt already economically depressed Americans and create a new underclass.
"It's almost like we have two signs at the border," said Susan Weishar, a migration specialist at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University. "One says you're trespassing, and the other says help wanted. It's impossible for people to come here and work without the full cooperation of millions, tens of millions of Americans, okay, which by the way is illegal."
But there are also adamant positions against. Some said that President Obama is rewarding people for breaking the law and that the president is flouting the U.S. Constitution.
"Is actually ignoring the law and rewarding law breakers, that's a big irony and it's really unfortunate," said Trey Roberts with the Greater New Orleans Tea Party.
Weishar says Congress has failed for too long to achieve comprehensive immigration reform and families are hurt because of it.
"This is going to keep families together, now mothers and fathers, hard-working mothers and fathers that are here to just make a better life for their families like immigrants, generations before them," she said.
Roberts believe the president's executive order will hurt society.
"It appears as though that there's going to be a whole new creation of a permanent underclass within our society, and that's not the American dream that a lot of these people come to America looking for," said Roberts.
Weishar said businesses bear a lot of blame because many hire immigrants at lower wages.
"That's another reason why this executive action is going to be good for the American people, because that means good employers that pay fair wages to their employees are no longer going to be undercut by unscrupulous employers who underpay their undocumented workers," said Weishar.
'If you bring more people in that are low skilled, low labor, low education that does limit the type of jobs that can be filled by this particular group of people that are coming in," said Roberts.