Action On Sweeping U.S. Immigration Reform Announced By Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama imposed the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation. By doing this, President Obama eased the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with Republicans.

Barack Obama

Obama, in a White House speech, rejected critics from the Republican party who remarked his decision to bypass Congress and take executive action is tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Obama urged Republican critics to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has blocked.

“Today, our immigration system is broken, and everybody knows it,” Obama said. “It’s been this way for decades. And for decades we haven’t done much about it.”

The plan of Obama would let some 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents remain in the United States on a temporarily basis, without the threat of deportation. There are about 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The measure would apply to those who have been in the United States for at last five years.

In his speech, Obama said that the real amnesty would be “leaving this broken system the way it is.” Trying to deport all 11 million people living in the country illegally was not realistic, he added.

“What I’m describing is accountability, a common-sense, middle-ground approach,” he said. “If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you’re a criminal, you’ll be deported.”

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