Defying GOP, Obama to spare 5M from deportation

Posted at 4:13 AM, Nov 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-20 18:08:08-05

Administration officials say President Barack Obama is ordering far-reaching changes to the nation's immigration laws that will allow nearly 5 million people, including parents and young people, to avoid deportation.

WATCH LIVE: President Obama will speak on his executive action tonight at 5 p.m. on

Millions more will remain in legal limbo, but could ultimately be allowed to stay in the U.S. under new deportation priority guidelines.

Obama will unveil his executive actions in a prime-time address Thursday night. Republicans fiercely oppose the measures and are weighing a range of legal and legislative challenges.

The main beneficiaries of Obama's deportation deferrals are parents who have been in the U.S. illegally for more than five years but have children who are citizens or permanent residents.

"What I'm going to be laying out is the things that I can do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as I continue to work with Congress and encourage them to get a bipartisan, comprehensive bill that can solve the entire problem," Obama said in a video posted Wednesday on Facebook.

The officials insisted on anonymity in order to preview the president's executive actions ahead of his remarks.