The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin giving work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives.
The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of a growing Latino electorate that has opposed administration deportation policies.
The administration's decision will affect as many as 800,000 immigrants.
Two senior administration officials described the plan on condition of anonymity ahead of its expected announcement Friday.
Illegal immigrants will avoid deportation and be eligible for work permits if they arrived in the U.S. before age 16, are younger than 30, have been in the country for at least five continuous years, have no criminal history, graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED, or served in the military.