Obama limits deportations of young immigrants

Nearly a million eligible for renewable work permits, not citizenship

WASHINGTON - President Obama, bypassing Congress on a deeply divisive issue, has moved to ease the threat of deportation for a generation of young illegal immigrants brought to this country as children, offering many a chance at legal status and renewable work permits, but not a path to citizenship.

Under the sweeping new policy announced Friday, more than 800,000 undocumented immigrants who have obtained a high school diploma or General Educational Development certificate or served in the military can apply for a “deferred action’’ status that eliminates the threat of deportation for two years. Applicants must have no criminal record.

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