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

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.