CLAREMONT (CBSLA.com) — A local couple is worried about the future as they and the nation await an appeals court ruling on a challenge brought forth by more than 20 states to President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.

Nearly two years ago, Sun Valley grandmother Olga Cordero was at risk of deportation after she was pulled over during a traffic stop without a driver’s license.

“My daughter, the little one, she was crying she told me, ‘Mom, I don’t want to be separated with you,’ ” she said.

Cordero and her husband are in the U.S. without legal permission but their four children and are U.S.-born citizens.

The family has been optimistic about their future as they await an appeals court ruling on a challenge to President Obama’s immigration actions filed by more than 20 states.

A lower court had issued stay to Obama’s executive order — an order could help up to 5 million people avoid deportation.

But critics say keeping the children of parents living in the country illegally together isn’t the government’s job.

“There is an option where they could return to their home country for family unification,” said Robin Hvidston with We the People Rising.

Groups like We the People Rising say loosening immigration policies is the same as giving special benefits to those living or entering the country without legal permission and contend that offering driver’s licenses and health care to non-citizens is a misuse of resources.

But supporters of the president on Capitol Hill say deferred action doesn’t mean a complete halt to deportation.

U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas, D-San Fernando Valley, points out that there is a rigorous application process.

“It means they may be able to have some temporary status that could be reversed by another president someday,” he said.

In the meantime, Cordero says she and her husband own two homes and a business they’ve had for more than two decades. She says they pay taxes but don’t enjoy any of the benefits.

“No vacations. Only work, work, work,” she said.

It’s unclear when the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on the matter, which could be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

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