"If you've been in America for more than five years; if you have children who are American citizens or legal residents; if you register, pass a criminal background check, and you're willing to pay your fair share of taxes - you'll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily, without fear of deportation," Obama said from the White House. "You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law."
Even as Republican lawyers analyzed what the White House said was the legal basis of Mr. Obama's actions, it remained unclear how they might undo them. The agency that will carry out most of the president's executive actions, Citizenship and Immigration Services, is funded with application fees, and does not rely on a budget vote in Congress to keep operating.
The president said he'll repeal the actions just as soon as Congress gets around to passing its own immigration legislation.
"The actions I'm taking are not only lawful, they're the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half century," Obama said. "And to those Members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill."