MESA, Ariz. -- They can't vote, but many undocumented immigrants are rallying citizens around Mesa to cast their vote for President Barack Obama in the election.
30 year old Carlos Martinez is hoping people who can vote, will.
After spending years mowing lawns around Tucson, he was granted a work permit, as were a few thousand other undocumented immigrants. "Getting a social security card was huge," said Martinez. "I'm finally recognized as someone, as a person, as an individual."
Martinez was brought to Tucson from Mexico by his parents when he was nine. He has a master’s degree in software systems engineering from the University of Arizona. But for years he's been mowing lawns and doing construction.
"It's like my parents used to tell me "Hey, go to school so you don't have to do these types of jobs," he said. "Now my parents can't tell me anything because I have a master’s degree and I'm still doing these types of jobs."
But Martinez can now apply for work legally. He is one of the first undocumented immigrants, or "Dreamers", granted deferred action by President Obama last summer.
"It was the happiest day of my life. I will never forget that day," said Martinez. He can legally work for two years, before having to apply again.
"If a new president comes in or they get rid of it, it's only two years for me. Or I go back to where I was 3 or four months ago," said Martinez.
But Governor Mitt Romney said if elected president, he will allow Dreamers to keep their work permits while he works on a permanent fix to the illegal immigration problem.
The Chairman of Arizona’s Republican Party, Tom Morrissey, said Romney can do more for Dreamers than Obama.
"His concern is that the Hispanic community is being misled and used by misinformation and stirring a passion based on complete fantasy," said Morrissey.
The chairman also said Romney will solve the illegal immigration problem by bringing a group of people together to get the job done.
Obama admits deferred action is not a permanent fix, but said for now, it's the right thing to do.