Obama Will Announce Relief For Up To 5 Million Immigrants

President Obama. (Getty Images)

After six years of often heated back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama will announce he has decided to go at it alone, deferring the deportation of up to 5 million of the estimated 12 million people who entered the United States illegally.

Obama will outline a series of executive actions in a prime time speech at 8 p.m. ET.

In a briefing with reporters earlier today, senior administration officials said the president will offer deportation protection to the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents and he will also expand protection to more "DREAMERs," or children who entered the country illegally with their parents. Those two groups will also be allowed to legally work in the United States, after passing a background check and paying a fee.

One administration official said Obama's actions are "bold" but "they're in keeping with precedent" and within the president's "existing authority."

Congressional Republicans have already warned Obama that this action would kill any chance of comprehensive immigration legislation. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn took it a step further, warning of a political and social firestorm.

"The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it's going to be a very serious situation," Coburn said in an interview with USA Today. "You're going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence."

NPR and the cable networks will carry Obama's address. We're going to live blog it here, so hit refresh to see the latest.

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