Obama unveils sweeping immigration reform

US president eases threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and sets up clash with Republicans.

    Obama unveils sweeping immigration reform
    Obama spoke in a televised address from the White House [AP]

    US President Barack Obama has announced the most sweeping immigration reform in a generation, easing the threat of deportation for about 4.7 million undocumented immigrants and setting up a clash with outraged Republicans.

    In a speech on Thursday, Obama rejected Republican accusations that his actions are tantamount to amnesty for illegal immigrants.

    The real amnesty, he said, was "leaving the broken system the way it is".

    "Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I'm describing is accountability, a common-sense, middle-ground approach," he said.

    Al Jazeera's Andy Gallacher, reporting from Miami, said that the biggest sentiment among people who watched the televised address was that they were 'one step closer'. 

    "What they're really calling for is for the parties to come together and have bipartisan agreement and reform the immigration system," said our correspondent.

    More soon...

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.