(AGI) Washington, Nov 21 - Five million immigrants will belegalised under a new plan announced by U.S. President BarackObama. "I know some of the critics of this action call itamnesty. Well, it's not," he said in a live broadcast from theEast Room of the White House on Thursday night. He said hewould act on the basis of executive orders. "Mass amnesty wouldbe unfair. Mass deportation would be both impossible andcontrary to our character. What I'm describing isaccountability - a commonsense, middle ground approach. Formore than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants fromaround the world has given us a tremendous advantage over othernations. It's kept us youthful, dynamic, and entrepreneurial.It has shaped our character as a people with limitlesspossibilities, people not trapped by our past, but able toremake ourselves as we choose." The plan will offer almost 4.1million illegal immigrants with family members born in the U.S.the possibility of getting temporary residence and a workpermit. The president intends to speed up issuing residencepermit for highly skilled workers and the so-called "dreamers",immigrants who entered the United States when they werechildren.The number of illegal immigrants that meet theserequirements is 1.1 million. They will have to prove they havebeen in America for more than five years and the plan will notinclude those who entered the country recently or those whoenter in the future. Border controls will be reinforced withextra resources. The president said: "If you plan to enter theU.S. illegally, your chances of getting caught and sent backjust went up." Eligible immigrants will have to pay taxes andallow the police to look into their past and criminals willcontinue to be deported. He said to the Republicans who want tosee him impeached for abuse of power over immigration: "Theactions I'm taking are not only lawful, they're the kinds ofactions taken by every single Republican president and everysingle Democratic president for the past half century." To themembers of Congress who question his authority, he answeredsimply: "Pass a bill". He added: "Now, I continue to believethat the best way to solve this problem is by working togetherto pass that kind of common sense law. But until that happens,there are actions I have the legal authority to take aspresident, the same kind of actions taken by Democratic andRepublican presidents before me, that will help make ourimmigration system more fair and more just." On Friday he willpromote his plan in Las Vegas in Nevada, the state with thelargest number of immigrants. However, Mitch McConnell, theKentucky Senator who will become majority leader in January,said: "If President Obama acts in defiance of the people andimposes his will on the country, Congress will act. We'reconsidering a variety of options. But make no mistake. When thenewly elected representatives of the people take their seats,they will act." The most conservative wing of the RepublicanParty has called for the president's impeachment or a newadministrative shutdown.(AGI) .