ROANOKE, Va. -

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is making headlines again this week, announcing that children of illegal immigrants could be eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

The policy change is receiving enthusiastic support, and strong criticism.

Like the Attorney General's decision not to defend Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage, Herring's latest announcement is generating controversy.

But for many in Virginia's immigrant community, it represents a clear step forward.

There were cheers in northern Virginia where Herring made the announcement, and here in western Virginia as well.

Yolanda Puyana is a leader of Hacienda, an advocacy group for the Hispanic community.  "Some of them, despite the Dream Act, have not had access to higher education because of the prices of tuition," Puyana told WDBJ7, "so this is a great step for our kids and for Virginia as a whole. "

Herring's announcement has been condemned by conservative Republicans who say he has overstepped his authority.  Wednesday afternoon, Delegate Bob Marshall wrote, "Mark Herring was not vested with powers to override and replace Virginia's constitution, the authority of the General Assembly or the Governor of Virginia. "

But other Virginians, including Yolanda Puyana are encouraged by the Attorney General's move, and hopeful it represents another step toward full immigration reform.