Who’s In and Who’s Out?

Obama is offering a reprieve to millions of unauthorized immigrants. Exactly who gets one will be determined by a string of wonky details.

President Obama is set to announce his long-promised executive immigration overhaul on Thursday night. We already know the broad brushstrokes: The plan will shield somewhere around 4 or 5 million unauthorized immigrants from the threat of deportation. But the details matter, both in Washington and in the real world, where more than a third of the nation’s estimated 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants may be covered by the president’s executive actions.

Who among that group is given a reprieve—and who is not—will be decided by a series of smaller decisions the president must make. Our video illustrates how the details of Obama’s plan could mean the difference between a work permit and the threat of deportation for a huge number of people.