President Barack Obama has announced major changes to the United States government's immigration policies. The changes will affect millions of people who entered the country without permission. The president took the action through an official declaration, known as an "executive order."
Mr. Obama spoke to the American people Thursday night. He said the U.S. immigration system is not working.
"It's been this way for decades. And for decades, we haven't done much about it."
The president said his order will help immigrants to, in his words, "come out of the shadows." It temporarily protects some illegal immigrants from being expelled from the country, a process called "deportation." It also gives them permission to work. But they must have been in the United States at least five years and have no criminal record. And they must have at least one U.S.-born child.
"It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive."
U.S. immigration officials will spend less time removing people and their families who entered the country without permission.
They will instead increase efforts against terrorists, criminals and people who only recently entered the United States illegally.
The Obama administration says the executive order increases "the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be caught and sent back."
The order expands a program for young people who had come to the United States as children and had spent at least five years in the U.S. It protects foreign citizens from being returned home for three years if they entered the U.S. before 2010 and are attending school.
"Are we a nation that educates the world's best and brightest in our universities, only to send them home to create businesses in countries that compete against us? Or are we a nation that encourages them to stay and create jobs here?"
U.S. officials estimate there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the country. The president's plan will affect about five million of them.
The changes announced Thursday night will not take effect until early next year. An administration official said it is not possible to make an announcement and put the policy into effect the next day.
Political observers expect opposition to the changes. Some critics say the president does not have the power under the Constitution to make major immigration policy changes using an executive order. The president said he does.
"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. 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."
I'm Christopher Cruise.
1.affect v. 影响；打动
Will the new rules affect me?
2.permission n. 允许；批准，正式认可
He got permission from his commanding officer to join me.
3.temporarily adv. 暂时地；临时地
Lemon and lime juice were both temporarily out of stock.
4.permanently adv. 永久地，持久地
I have given up my flat in Paris because I'm going to live permanently in London.
5.lawful adj. 合法的；法定的
It is not lawful to park in front of a hydrant.
1.It temporarily protects some illegal immigrants from being expelled from the country, a process called "deportation."
They threatened to expel him from his adoptive country.
2.The Obama administration says the executive order increases "the chances that anyone attempting to cross the border illegally will be caught and sent back."
These feelings are likely to make people attempt to overthrow the system.
3.The changes announced Thursday night will not take effect until early next year.
The prescribed medicine failed to take effect.
奥巴马总统宣布对美国政府移民政策进行重大改革。这些改革将影响到未经许可进入美国的数百万人 。在一项被称为“行政命令”的官方声明中，奥巴马总统采取了这一行动 。
奥巴马总统表示，他的命令将帮助移民，用他的话来说，“走出阴影。”该命令暂时保护一些非法移民免于被“驱逐出境”，还给他们颁发了工作许可证 。但是他们必须已在美国生活至少五年，并且没有犯罪记录 。同时他们必须至少有一个在美国出生的孩子 。
政治观察人士预计这项改革会遭遇反对。有评论说，根据宪法，总统无权使用行政命令对移民政策做出重大改革 。奥巴马总统说他有权这样做 。