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Obama Unveils Order Shielding Illegal Immigrants From Deportation

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced an executive order to overhaul the U.S. immigration system, accusing lawmakers in the Republican-dominated Congress of failing to pass necessary reforms.

In a speech from the White House, Obama said on November 20 that his plan is "more fair and just" than rounding up and deporting millions of illegal immigrants.

His plan calls for nearly 5 million illegal immigrants who have been in the United States at least five years to be temporarily shielded from deportation if they "come out of the shadows" and pay taxes.

He said his plan is not an amnesty.

Some Republican lawmakers have threatened to block Obama’s nominations in the next Congress unless he rescinds the executive order.

Others have threatened to block a critical spending bill, forcing a government shutdown like the 16-day closure seen a year ago.

Based on reports by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa