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Obama Bypasses Congress To Shield Immigrants From Deporation

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

All through this morning we're looking at President Obama's immigration speech. Last night the president looked at the camera. He made good on his pledge to bypass Congress and pursue immigration reform by executive action.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I continue to believe that the best way to solve this problem is by working together to pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens, there are actions I have the legal authority to take as president, the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me, that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just.

ARUN RATH, HOST:

As many as 5 million people who entered the United States illegally will not be subject to deportation. Our colleague Mara Liasson notes surveys finding many voters approve the substance of the president's action.

INSKEEP: The way he's doing it is less popular, and that's the part Republicans have questioned most. They say he exceeded his power. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.