Obama will halt deportation of up to 5 million immigrants

  • Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

    AP White House Correspondent

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on ``felons, not families.''

    The moves, affecting mostly parents and young people, marked the most sweeping changes to the nation's fractured immigration laws in nearly three decades and set off a fierce fight with Republicans over the limits of presidential powers.

    In a televised address to the nation, Obama defended the legality of his actions and challenged GOP lawmakers to focus their energy not on blocking his actions, but on approving long-stalled legislation to take its place.

    ``To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,'' Obama said.

    Despite the president's broad measures, more than half of the 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally will remain in legal limbo.
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