The Biden administration on Tuesday announced an executive action allowing certain undocumented spouses and children of US citizens to apply for lawful permanent residency without leaving the country – a sweeping election-year move that could offer deportation protections to hundreds of thousands of people.

The action will provide legal status and protections for about 500,000 American families and roughly 50,000 noncitizen children of immigrants under the age of 21 whose parent is married to a US citizen, a senior administration official said. It amounts to one of the federal government’s biggest relief programs for undocumented immigrants since the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was announced by then-President Barack Obama in 2012.

The action is aimed at appealing to key Latino constituencies in battleground states, including Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, that will be crucial for Biden’s chances to claim a second term. The move is an olive branch to immigration advocates and progressives, many of whom have sharply criticized Biden for previous restrictive actions, including taking steps this month to limit asylum processing at the US southern border.

The president formally announced the action during a White House event Tuesday marking the 12th anniversary of DACA: “Today’s a good day,” Biden said during the event in the White House’s East Room.... Read More: CNN