The presidents of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the leading source countries of illegal immigrants in the United States, hailed Obama’s executive decree to stop the deportation of many of their compatriots.

Obama’s unilateral measures will shield nearly five million illegal immigrant from U.S. immigration laws by granting them work permits, Social Security numbers, and deportation reprieves.

In administering the president’s overhaul of America’s immigration laws, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will prioritize the removal of certain serious criminal aliens.

Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are the top four countries where the majority of illegal aliens in the United States originate, according to the latest DHS estimate of the unauthorized immigrant population living in the U.S. The DHS data is consistent with most recent estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center.

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