It is a highly lucrative industry hidden from public view, but human rights advocate Kathryn Xian says the exploitation of illegal immigrant children in Hawaii is a reality.
Xian believes the president's decision is helping to break the silence surrounding sex and labor trafficking.
"For victims to feel less afraid of this country as being against them, when they had no part to play in their illegal entry into the United States," said Xian of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery.
Under the new Obama administration policy, illegal immigrants under 30 years old who entered the country as children are eligible to remain with a temporary work permit.
Immigrants need to earn a high school diploma, cannot have criminal records and need to show they've lived for at least five years in the country.
"Immigration has been a big part of our community. Some yes are in full knowledge that they are here illegally, but others were duped into the process of entering this country," Xian added.
Conservatives are calling the presidents announce a desperate move in a political game, timed months before the presidential election.
"I think President Obama knows that he needs the Latino vote, so he is doing this to create favor with them so that he can sway that block of voters," said David Chang, the chair of the Hawaii GOP.
Chang said the president is rewarding criminal behavior, while making light of a national issue with long-term ramifications.
"I think we need to figure out a way where we are not rewarding people for breaking the law," said Chang.