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Obama's 2012 immigration move shows pros and cons of executive action

Ramiro, Alma, and daughters Kimberly, left, and Kayla — is living and working in Texas. The girls are U.S. citizens, and their parents hope to benefit from the Obama action granting temporary legal status through the Approved Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Foto: Michael Busch for The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama moves forward with his plan to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, an existing program to protect young illegal migrants demonstrates the life-changing promise of executive action but also its profound shortcomings, according to experts and government documents.

The initiative in 2012 has given temporary protection to slightly more than 700,000 people brought to the United States illegally as children. They say that program has helped them emerge from the shadows, making possible a work permit, a Social Security number and enhanced self-respect...

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