President Barack Obama will unveil tonight a sweeping executive action to overhaul U.S. immigration policy. The plan will shield up to five million people from being deported, CNN reports

One focus of Obama's plan is to make it a priority to deport "felons not families," with plans to crack down on gang members, suspected terrorists and criminals instead of deporting parents of U.S. citizens and legal residents who are law-abiding, a White House news release says.

In order to stay in the U.S., undocumented immigrants may have to pass criminal background checks and pay their share of taxes. 

The president will unveil the plan in an 8 p.m. address to the nation, which is not being carried by the networks (because the greatest change to this country's immigration policy in decades is apparently less important than Grey's Anatomy) but will be live on all cable news channels and live streamed here on

According to planned remarks released by the White House, this is what Obama will say:

"Mass amnesty would be unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character. What I'm describing is accountability -- a commonsense, middle ground approach."

"If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. If you're a criminal, you'll be deported. If you plan to enter the U.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent back just went up."

The plan, which Republicans claim is against the law, has been defended by the White House as the president acting within his executive authority.

[Via CNN]