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Gabby Giffords Completes 11-Mile Bike Race

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords completed the 11 mile El Tour de Tucson on Sunday on a reclining three-wheeled bicycle.Giffords, who was critically wounded in a 2011 shooting during a public appearance, had been training for the event for six months. The former Representative posted a photo from the event to her Facebook page on Sunday.  (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));Post by Gabby Giffords.Post by Gabby Giffords.Giffords was an avid cyclist before the 2011 shooting. Her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly said he wants Giffords to do everything she did before the shooting. Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama Defends Use of Executive Action on Immigration

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Barack Obama defended his decision to use executive authority to enact changes to the U.S. immigration system during an exclusive interview with This Week, challenging Republican Speaker John Boehner to “pass a bill” if he was not satisfied with the president’s unilateral actions.“Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can’t do on my own,” the president told ABC News’ chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview in Las Vegas on Friday. “What I do have is the legal authority to try to make the system better. Given the resource constraints that we have, we have to prioritize.”During a primetime address on Thursday from the White House, the president – expressing frustration over a lack of Congressional action — announced he would be employing executive action to circumvent Congress and offer temporary legal status to approximately five million undocumented immigrants, among other actions.During the interview with Stephanopoulos, the president pushed back against the argument made by some of his detractors that he is taking action that he previously said he did not have the authority to take.“What is absolutely true is that we couldn’t solve the entire problem and still can’t solve the entire problem,” Obama said. “But what we can do is to prioritize felons, criminals, recent arrivals, folks who are coming right at the border and acknowledge that if somebody’s been here for over five years — they may have an American child or a legal permanent resident child — it doesn’t make sense for us to prioritize them when we know that we need more resources.”“If you look, every president – Democrat and Republican – over decades has done the same thing as I mentioned in my remarks,” he added. “George H. W. Bush, about 40 percent of the undocumented persons at the time were provided a similar kind of relief as a consequence of executive action.”When asked about using executive action, the president said his view on the issue has not changed.“If you look – the history is that I have issued fewer executive actions than most of my predecessors, by a longshot,” Obama said. “The difference is the response of Congress, and specifically the response of some of the Republicans. But if you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I’ve actually been very restrained, and I’ve been very restrained with respect to immigration. I bent over backwards and will continue to do everything I can to get Congress to work because that’s my preference.”Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama: American People Want 'New Car Smell' in 2016 Campaign

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama, acknowledging he's taken some political "dings" during his time in the White House, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News that the American people will want that "new car smell" when it comes to the 2016 presidential campaign, suggesting he may not have a prominent role on the campaign trail as the country prepares to select his replacement."I think the American people, you know, they're going to want -- you know, that new car smell. You know, their own -- they want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me," Obama told ABC News Chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.During the interview conducted in Las Vegas on Friday, Stephanopoulos asked the president how he would navigate a potential White House bid by his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton.The president, who said he talks regularly with Clinton, called her a friend and seemed prepared for Clinton to differentiate herself politically should she choose to pursue the presidency, which appears likely."She's not going to agree with me on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of running for president is you can stake out your own positions," Obama said.Earlier in the conversation he'd said he thought she'd make a "formidable candidate" and a "great" president.The president, who said there were "a number" of potential Democratic candidates who would make great presidents, said he would do everything he could to ensure that a member of his own party succeeded him."I am very interested in making sure that I've got a Democratic successor," he said. "So I'm going do everything I can, obviously, to make sure that whoever the nominee is is successful."Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

(NEW YORK) -- Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry has died at the age of 78. Barry D.C. council spokeswoman LaToya Foster says he died shortly after midnight Sunday at a hospital in Washington.He served 4 terms as mayor of Washington D.C, but his terms were overshadowed by his 1990 arrest after he was caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine.The cause of death has not been released. More details to come.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Senate Committee to Hold Hearing on Pro Sports League Domestic Violence Policies

Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. John Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee announced on Friday that the committee would hold a hearing regarding addressing domestic violence in professional sports.Rockefeller, D-W. Va., said that the hearing will examine the current policies held by the four major sports leagues -- the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and National Hockey League. The hearing is expected to focus on how those policies deter violence, promote awareness, provide due process and punish those who commit acts of domestic violence.The hearing, to be held on the afternoon of Dec. 2, will also examine potential future policies.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

House Intelligence Committee's Benghazi Report Finds No Intelligence Failure Bef

Credit: Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday concluding that there was no intelligence failure prior to the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya in 2012.The report took more than two years to investigate, and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., determined that while there was no intelligence failure, "the early intelligence assessments and the Administrations' public narrative on the causes and motivations for the attack were not fully accurate." The committee also determined that the CIA didn't conduct any "unauthorized activities in Benghazi, and "did not intimidate any officer or otherwise dissuade them from telling their stories to Congress."The report is at least the seventh Congressional report on the Benghazi attacks, though the most notable one, by a special House select committee remains ongoing.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Biden Announces $135 Million in Humanitarian Aid for Syrians Affected by Conflic

Official White House Photo by David Lienemann(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden announced on Saturday that the U.S. would pledge an additional $135 million in humanitarian aid to help feed citizens impacted by the conflict in Syria.According to a release from the White House, the latest round of humanitarian assistance brings the total pledged by the U.S. to over $3 billion since the start of the crisis, including $222 million to international humanitarian organizations working with the Turkish government. The White House notes that an estimated 1.6 million refugees from Syria have received aid from Turkey, and 190,000 refugees have left the town of Kobani for Turkey in recent weeks.The breakdown of the aid money includes $133 in regufee food needs -- $63 million for those displaced by the conflict to other parts of Syria and $70 million for those forced to neighboring countries. About $11 million of the $70 million will go towards food assistance for those refugees in Turkey.Biden made the announcement from Istanbul, following a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama Expands Scope of US Mission in Afghanistan

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- A U.S. official confirmed to ABC News on Saturday that President Obama signed an executive order expanding the scope of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan beyond what had been initially planned.As part of the order, U.S. troops will be allowed to target Taliban forces that threaten U.S. troops within Afghanistan or that provide support to al-Qaeda. Originally, the 9,800 U.S. troops staying in Afghanistan were expected to be involved in training. The order will also allow American aircraft to provide air support for Afghan troops on combat missions.The ongoing combat mission is slated to end on Dec. 31.According to the New York Times, the new name for the mission in Afghanistan will be Operation Resolute Support.Follow @ABCNewsRadio!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama: Don't Use Ferguson as 'An Excuse for Violence'

(LAS VEGAS) -- As a grand jury debates whether or not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, President Barack Obama on Friday — in an exclusive interview with ABC News — urged the residents of the city and all others to “keep protests peaceful.”“Well I think, first and foremost, keep protests peaceful. You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views,” Obama told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos during an interview conducted Friday in Las Vegas. “Allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”A grand jury in Missouri is in the midst of determining if Wilson — who fatally shot the unarmed teenager on Aug. 9 — should be charged for the incident. It is not known precisely when a decision by the grand jury will be reached, but it’s expected to be announced soon.On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Brown’s father asked for calm ahead of the decision. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has also declared a state of emergency in preparation, and the FBI is sending approximately 100 of its own to the St. Louis area in anticipation of possible unrest that could mirror the chaos that ensued after Brown was shot earlier this year.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsFollow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Top Hillary Clinton Supporters Gather to Plot, Strategize

Feng Li/Getty Images(NEW YORK ) -- Two-hundred prominent Democratic strategists, former Clinton aides and donors, joined forces on Friday for a day-long strategy meeting hosted by the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Ready for Hillary to coalesce their efforts, plot and plan for when and if Hillary Clinton runs for president.The meeting, held at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, where the Clintons hold their annual Clinton Global Initiative summit, was made up of a series of closed-to-the-media strategizing panels and marked the beginning of the end of Ready for Hillary, which plans to shut down its operations once Clinton announces a run.It also marked a turning point for Clinton’s potential 2016 campaign.Although nobody would flat out say it (hypotheticals like “if” and “hope” preceded all statements about her candidacy), the general sentiment among the panelists and attendees was: She’s running. And when she does, her supporters said, they will be ready.“Hopes run high,” Marty Chavez, the former Albuquerque mayor and a senior adviser for Ready for Hillary, told reporters. “The biggest takeaway I have is … there are a lot of people who have her back if she says yes.”The attendees at the event included Correct the Record’s David Brock and Bruce Strider, who were invited guests to last weekend’s 10th anniversary event for the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, as well as political strategists Harold Ickes, James Carville and Paul Begala. Two people who have been mentioned as possible campaign managers for Clinton, Stephanie Shriock, the head of EMILY’s List, and Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also were there.Hillary Clinton herself was not at the event. Super PAC rules would not allow her to go.Very little was said about other possible Democratic presidential candidates, such as former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who just this week became the first candidate to throw his hat in to the ring. The panelists said they saw Hillary Clinton as the most “formidable” candidate and that any concerns were not about a “Hillary Clinton problem,” but rather a problem for the Democratic Party, as a whole.“We have yet to figure out a message on the economy that resonates with working-class voters,” Mitch Stewart, a former Obama adviser and founding partner of 270 Strategies, which partnered with Ready for Hillary, told reporters. “We have not been able to persuade them that your values align with ours. And that, for me, is the biggest concern out there.”The meeting also focused on acknowledging what Ready for Hillary has accomplished since it launched nearly two years ago. In that time, the group has raised $11 million and gained 3 million supporters. Once it shuts down, the group plans to transfer its vast email list of supporters to Clinton’s campaign. It was unclear, however, what would happen to the group’s now-famous bus.Ready for Hillary’s meeting came a day after Hillary Clinton came out in support of President Obama’s executive action on immigration and blamed Congress for inaction on the issue. It was a rare move for Clinton, prompting speculation she might be starting to position herself as a candidate, because she has remained relatively mute on policy matters since she stepped down as Obama’s secretary of state in 2013.Ready for Hillary also hosted a grassroots fundraising event Thursday night at a noisy, haram-themed lounge downtown.The event, with roughly 150 people, cost $20.16 to attend and offered up cocktails thematically linked to Clinton, who might run to become America’s 45th president.“I’ll have one ‘Ceiling Breaker’ and one ’45,’” a young 20-something guy, donning a small Ready for Hillary sticker on his button-down shirt, was heard yelling out to the bartender.Two minutes later, he was handed two ambiguously colored drinks.“No idea,” he shouted out when asked what was in them. But, he said with a smile, “They’re named after her.”Hillary Clinton, who has a lighter-than-usual schedule in the coming month, has said she will likely make a decision on 2016 sometime early next year.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Why Students Are Tweeting Pics of School Lunches With #ThanksMichelleObama

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Students across the country are tweeting photos of their school lunches and using the hashtag #ThanksMichelleObama.The first lady has been active in pushing for reform in school cafeterias and encouraging healthier eating overall. The White House passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by Michelle Obama in 2010, intended to improve the nutritional value of school lunches.Some kids still don't seem too pleased by what their schools are dishing out, and the hashtag, which has been in use since August, went viral again on Friday.While some students used the hashtag sarcastically, some used it to show support for Obama, thanking her for her efforts to get kids eating healthy.Check out some of the tweets below: this Looks like chicken and tastes like sausage im so confused #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/3y150oGZpl— hard pa$$ (@idkaysia) November 21, 2014  Whole wheat buns #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/1nG6lr9hWW— Lucas mcgeachy (@mcgluc18) November 21, 2014  This is considered a "meal" #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/k3WOVbJpxv— Jordan Fite (@jordan_fite37) November 21, 2014  Grilled cheese and plastic for lunch..yummy ??? #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/YQ9N7XpLeB— Kendrick (@KendraPohlman) November 21, 2014  Yum school lunch part 2 #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/y8qY680qwR— Jess Sency (@Jess_Sency) November 21, 2014  Good lunch at school #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/xtCPI3M8tt— Chase (@Chase_McMorrow) November 21, 2014  Many students love the new lunches. #ThanksMichelleObama pic.twitter.com/NnbpHJzEPN— CSPI (@CSPI) November 21, 2014 Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Obama Raises Stakes on Immigration in Vegas Rally

The White House(WASHINGTON) -- Pitching his immigration plan directly to the American people, President Obama told a rowdy crowd on Friday that what he’s offering is a “common sense” first step to fixing a “broken system.”“Our immigration system has been broken for a very long time, and everybody knows it,” Obama said."It’s not amnesty,” Obama said of his plan to shield up to 5 million people from deportation. “Amnesty really is the system we’ve got today… What we are offering is accountability. It is accountability. It’s a common sense middle-ground approach.”Taking an exasperated tone, the president claimed he tried everything to work with Congress and chastised Republicans in the House for refusing to vote on the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate.“I cajoled and I called and I met. I told [House Speaker] John Boehner, ‘I’ll wash your car. I’ll walk your dog. Whatever you need me to do, just call the bill.’ That’s how democracy is supposed to work,” he said.“This debate deserves more than politics,” he said. “This is about who we are. Who do we want to be?”Obama also pushed back against critics who claim his executive actions poison the well for future compromise.“Why? I didn’t dissolve parliament,” he joked. “That’s not how our system works. I didn’t, you know, steal away the various clerks in the Senate and the House who manage bills. They can still pass a bill. I don’t have a vote in Congress. Pass a bill.”The president chose to return to a familiar site to kick off his campaign to sell his unilateral plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and shield up to 5 million people from deportation.“Tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people is not realistic," he said.Nearly two years ago, in this same gym at Del Sol High School, the president outlined his post-election promise to finally reform immigration in his second term.On Friday, the same chants of “si se puede” (yes we can) rang out as Obama touted his move to bypass Congress and act on his own.“I come back to Del Sol to tell you I’m not giving up. I will never give up,” he said to raucous applause.Hispanics are a powerful voting bloc in this swing state, where undocumented immigrants make up a larger portion of the population than in any other state, according to the Pew Research Center.While the mood inside the event was largely positive, outside protesters chanted “worst president ever” and held signs reading “Deport Obama” and “No Amnesty.”When the president's remarks were briefly interrupted by a protester objecting that not enough undocumented immigrants are covered by his executive actions, Obama agreed that more needs to be done.“Not everyone will qualify… This is the first step, not the only step,” he said. “That’s why we need Congress to pass a bill.”The visit to Las Vegas also gives the president a chance to boost Democratic Leader Harry Reid in his home state in the wake of the bruising midterm loss for Democrats. Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and several other lawmakers hitched a ride to Nevada aboard Air Force One.Shortly after landing the president signed aboard Air Force One the presidential memorandum to formally give guidance to federal agencies.Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Boehner: Obama 'Damaging Presidency' with Unilateral Immigration Action

Heather Reed / Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner said that President Obama is damaging the institution of the presidency by taking unilateral action to reform the country's immigration laws, setting up another political showdown on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as Republicans work on a strategy on how best to react to Thursday's announcement."All year long I've warned the president that by taking unilateral action on matters such as his health care law, or by threatening action repeatedly on immigration, he was making it impossible to build the trust necessary to work together," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "As I warned the president, you can't ask the elected representatives of the people to trust you to enforce the law if you're constantly demonstrating that you can't be trusted to enforce the law.""The president repeatedly suggested that he was going to unilaterally change immigration law and he created an environment where the Members would not trust him," Boehner added. "Trying to find a way to work together was virtually impossible and I warned the president over and over that his actions were making it impossible for me to do what he wanted me to do."The House speaker predicted that Obama's actions "will only encourage more people to come here illegally" and "punishes those who have obeyed the law and have waited their turn.""We saw the humanitarian crisis on our border last summer, how horrific it was. Well next summer it could be worse," Boehner warned. "With this action the president has chosen to deliberately sabotage any chance of enacting bipartisan reforms that he claims to seek."Boehner said he warned the president that his actions could harm the institution of the presidency when the two spoke on Thursday afternoon before the president's address."As I told the president yesterday, he's damaging the presidency itself," he said. "President Obama has turned a deaf ear to the people that he was elected and we were elected to serve."While Boehner refused to enumerate how the House might react to the president's actions, he stressed that "the House will in fact act.""The people's House will rise to this challenge. We will not stand idle as the president undermines the rule of law in our country and places lives at risk," Boehner pledged. "We'll listen to the American people, we'll work with our members, and we'll work to protect the constitution of the United States."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

President Obama Offers Legal Status to Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- Thursday night, President Obama announced a sweeping executive action intended to secure the border while providing relief for an estimated 4.1 million undocumented family members of U.S. citizens and about 300,000 undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children."Today, our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it," the president said from the East Room of the White House. "Are we a nation that tolerates the hypocrisy of a system where workers who pick our fruit and make our beds never have a chance to get right with the law? Or are we a nation that gives them a chance to make amends, take responsibility and give their kids a better future?"There are actions I have the legal authority to take as president -- the same kinds of actions taken by Democratic and Republican presidents before me," Obama boldly claimed, "that will help make our immigration system more fair and more just."The action will be finalized Friday with the signing of a presidential memorandum at a rally in Las Vegas. It will fulfill, at least in part, the promise Obama first made in 2008 as a candidate to lift the threat of deportation from millions of people living in the U.S. illegally.The move means nearly half the nation's undocumented immigrants -- roughly 5 million people -- will be eligible for temporary legal status and work permits.More ABC US news | ABC World NewsThe announcement set off celebrations on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and at watch parties organized by immigrant advocacy groups all around the country. It was also unleashed a flurry of protests from critics who have asserted Obama is exceeding his constitutional authority and setting a dangerous new precedent.The White House said the president's primary focus, in light of limitations on his executive power, is on keeping families united. The biggest group that will benefit is an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years and who have children that were born here as American citizens."Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable," Obama said. But, "let’s be honest -- tracking down, rounding up, and deporting millions of people isn't realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn't being straight with you."That’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security. Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mother who's working hard to provide for her kids. We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day," he said. "After all, most of these immigrants have been here a long time. They work hard, often in tough, low-paying jobs. They support their families. They worship at our churches. Many of their kids are American-born or spent most of their lives here, and their hopes, dreams, and patriotism are just like ours."Obama's order will also extend legal status to a larger universe of so-called Dreamers, who first came to the U.S. illegally as children and either are attending school, have graduated high school or have served in the military. As many as 270,000 more undocumented immigrants will be able to apply for legal status under the program, which Obama first unveiled in 2012, administration officials said.All immigrant applicants must have clean criminal records, provide their biometric information and pay a fee of around $500, officials said. The legal status will only last three years but can be renewed. The president's executive action does not create a pathway to citizenship or allow access to federal health care benefits, he is claiming.The application process won't begin until the spring of 2015, according to the Department of Homeland Security.In addition to deportation relief, Obama has also directed that immigration enforcement agencies focus on those who have committed felonies and those who have crossed the border within the last year. By forgoing crackdowns on those without criminal records and who have been here longer, the White House claimed it will be able to devote more resources to border enforcement and cracking down on those who pose a threat."Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law," AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement.Hillary Clinton sent a tweet after Obama's announcement, thanking him for taking action. She also released a statement in support of the president's remarks, saying, "I support the President’s decision to begin fixing our broken immigration system and focus finite resources on deporting felons rather than families. I was hopeful that the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate in 2013 would spur the House of Representatives to act, but they refused even to advance an alternative. Their abdication of responsibility paved the way for this executive action, which follows established precedent from Presidents of both parties going back many decades. But, only Congress can finish the job by passing permanent bipartisan reform that keeps families together, treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity."Clinton's statement continued, "Our disagreements on this important issue may grow heated at times, but I am confident that people of good will and good faith can yet find common ground. We should never forget that we’re not discussing abstract statistics – we’re talking about real families with real experiences.  We’re talking about parents lying awake at night afraid of a knock on the door that could tear their families apart, people who love this country, work hard, and want nothing more than a chance to contribute to the community and build better lives for themselves and their children."Ahead of the president's address, Republicans were sharply critical of Obama's move to circumvent Congress, some vowing to sue the administration and others warning it would spoil any attempt at bipartisan compromise over the next two years."Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works," House Speaker John Boehner said in a short video statement posted on YouTube. "The president has said before that 'he’s not king' and he's 'not an emperor,' but he sure is acting like one. And he’s doing it a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together.”Boehner's comments referred to President Obama's previous comments that he didn't have the authority to make the moves he announced Thursday evening."I know some of the critics of this action call it amnesty. Well, it’s not," Obama said tonight. "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." But even some congressional Democrats questioned Obama's unilateral action, expressing preference for a more permanent solution through legislation."It is clear the immigration system in this country is broken, and only Congress has the ability to change the law to fix it," said Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. "I am as frustrated as anyone that Congress is not doing its job, but the President shouldn't make such significant policy changes on his own."Said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, "I am concerned if the president's action goes too far, that number one it will set the cause back, that it will inflame our politics, get us into a kind of retribution situation with the opponents of immigration reform, and really change the subject from immigration to the president and whether he should've done what he did.""I know the politics of this issue are tough," Obama said during his address. "But let me tell you why I have come to feel so strongly about it. Over the past few years, I have seen the determination of immigrant fathers who worked two or three jobs, without taking a dime from the government, and at risk at any moment of losing it all, just to build a better life for their kids.""I’ve seen the heartbreak and anxiety of children whose mothers might be taken away from them just because they didn’t have the right papers," the president continued. "I’ve seen the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love. These people -- our neighbors, our classmates, our friends -- they did not come here in search of a free ride or an easy life. They came to work, and study, and serve in our military, and above all, contribute to America’s success."Follow @ABCNewsRadio !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio