The Associated Press reports that the White House will halt the deportation of as many as 800,000 young illegal immigrants and in some cases give them work permits.
The AP describes the plan, which will not provide citizenship but will lift the looming possibility of deportation for law-abiding people under 30:
Under the administration plan, illegal immigrants will be immune from deportation if they were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military. They also can apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limits on how many times it can be renewed.
Young people who were brought into the country illegally or overstayed their visas as children are commonly referred to as "Dreamers," referencing the title of a decade-old bill that would have given them legal status if they joined the military or attended college. The Dream Act passed the House two years ago, but was blocked by Republicans in the Senate.
President Obama has faced criticism from the crucial Hispanic electorate for ramping up deportations under his tenure and for failing to deliver on his campaign promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform within his first year in office. This move is sure to generate enthusiasm among many Latinos--85 percent of registered Latino voters said in a Latino Decisions poll that they support the Dream Act. The president enjoys a strong lead among Hispanic voters over Mitt Romney, but a lack of enthusiasm among these voters could mean they stay home on Election Day in swing states like Nevada, Colorado and Florida.